COVID-19 Special Events Updates: September 20, 2021

Austin Center for Events (ACE) continues to modify the COVID-19 Health and Safety Form to be completed as part of the special event application process. This form presents event organizers with several COVID-19 mitigation efforts to consider and allows for applicants to provide information on how they intend to implement them. While this is the same process that has been in effect since April 2021, we continue to update the guidance to correspond with the latest conditions of the pandemic. 

Enhanced mitigation criteria include: 

  • Conduct screening of all attendees including but not limited to: requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of entering an event.
  • Developing strategies for maintaining at least 6 feet of social distancing. 
  • Include “mask zones” in outdoor event areas where social distancing is not possible. Masks are required at City of Austin or Travis County facilities. 

For indoor events with 1,000+ attendees, and outdoor events with 2,500+, the submitted Health and Safety Form must be approved by the Austin Public Health department. An APH staff member will review your form and either approve your plans or work with you on strengthening mitigation efforts so you can hold a safe event.

ACE will continue to work with event organizers to encourage their patrons to follow Health Authority guidelines and the recommendations outlined in the Bringing Events Back: Austin-Travis County COVID-19 Safety Guide for Venues & Special Events where possible.

Masking is required at all City of Austin facilities, including at special events.

Special Events Guidance During COVID-19: Required Health and Safety Form 

The City of Austin has updated the COVID-19 Health & Safety Form required for Special Events Permits. The latest form reflects current health conditions and recommendations in the Risk Based Guidelines. 

This form is a requirement for special event applications and will be updated regularly as health conditions change. A preview of the form can be found here: Health and Safety Form Preview

After applying for a Special Events Permit, complete the COVID-19 Health & Safety Form. First time users will need to set up an account. 

Bringing Events Back: Safety Guide for Venues & Special Events

Special events guidance is reviewed at least every 30 days to ensure guidelines reflect current COVID-19 health conditions. Check out this new page with information and FAQs.

PART III: Austin-Travis County COVID-19 Safety Guide for Venues & Special Events (English PDF) (UPDATED FOR STAGE 5)

Risk Based Guidelines: STAGE 4

In making the decision to move to Stage 4 of the Risk-Based Guidelines, APH, Travis County and local hospital partners monitor several key indicators including the seven-day moving average of new hospital admissions, positivity rate, the doubling time of new cases, and current ICU and ventilator patients. 

Stage 4 recommendations include the following:

  • Fully vaccinated individuals should wear a mask when participating in indoor gatherings, traveling, and dining or shopping, and should wear a mask for outdoor gatherings, if they are unable to socially distance. 
  • Partially or unvaccinated individuals should avoid gatherings, travel, dining, and shopping unless essential. Wear a mask when conducting essential activities.

Vaccine Support & Mobile Vaccine for Events

Event organizers and their staff can get vaccinated before an event. Organizers can register to co-host a mobile vaccine event. Complete the Austin Public Health Mobile Vaccination Request Form to request a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic at least one month before the event to help staff and volunteers be fully vaccinated prior to the event.  

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and require neither identification nor insurance. Residents can locate providers in their area using Vaccines.gov or they can text their zip code to 438829 (822862 in Spanish) to find a nearby clinic.  

City-owned Event Facilities 

Austin Public Health is also working closely with City of Austin departments that have event facilities. Each department is operating on an independent reopening schedule.  

Austin Public Library Department  announced The Austin Central Library will begin hosting private events and facility rentals beginning April 1, 2021. All events must receive approval by local health authorities and adhere to Austin–Travis County COVID-19 safety guidelines. More information is located at the rental page.   

Austin Convention Center Department has been given authorization by Austin Public Health to operate. For more information visit Austin Convention Center or Palmer Events Center sites.  

Gatherings on City Parkland and Park Facilities 

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) continues to consult with public health authorities regarding park use. The use of picnic sites, event buildings, or special event sites occur based on the reopening guidelines for specific sites. For more information on current PARD facility operations, visit austintexas.gov/parkclosures

Events on City parkland require a separate park permit and reservation. Please contact the PARD Office of Special Events at reservations@austintexas.gov and consult the information on the PARD Office of Special Events department website.

Resources and More Information 

If you have questions about your event application or future plans, contact specialevents@austintexas.gov and we can schedule a remote meeting with you.

Special Event Permit Application Cancellation from Spring 2020

The City received just under 200 Spring Festival Season permit applications. A list of the permit application cancellations is available. Cancellations may be for any reason, including but not limited to the Austin-Travis County Orders to prohibit mass gatherings.