Guidance for Houses of Worship as Texas Reopens

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton today issued updated joint guidance regarding the effect of Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-18 on religious services conducted by congregations and houses of worship. It recommends health protocols for houses of worship to guard the health and safety of their attendees while serving their respective communities of faith.

“Houses of worship face particular challenges as Texans work to combat this pandemic. This updated guidance provides clear direction to protect the health and safety of faith groups as they plan for future religious gatherings,” said Attorney General Paxton. “All Texans must continue to work together to care for the health and safety of our neighbors as we work to reopen the state.”

The updated guidance continues to protect the rights of Texans to freely exercise their religion. Executive Order GA-18 defines essential services to include “religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship.” State and local government orders may not prohibit people from providing or obtaining those religious services.    

Read the guidance document here.   

For information and guidelines on the safe and strategic reopening of Texas, please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services website.