COVID-19 Resources For Industry Partners
A Message From Governor Greg Abbott
"The state of Texas is strong; our people, resilient.
As we have seen in years past, when tested by fire, flood, or hurricane, Texans respond with resilience and calm resolve. And just as we overcame those challenges, we will overcome this one.
When neighbors help neighbors, our resilience is redoubled.
I have no doubt that Texans will continue to work together in that spirit over the coming days and weeks.
And we are here to help."
- Governor Greg Abbott
Strategic Plan to Open Texas
On July 2, Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order requiring all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions. The Governor also issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of over 10 people, and making it mandatory that, with certain exceptions, people cannot be in groups larger than ten and must maintain six feet of social distancing from others.
More information can be found here.
On June 26, Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order limiting certain businesses and services as part of the state’s effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. The targeted, measured directives in the executive order are based on links between certain types of businesses and services and the recent rise in positive cases throughout the state.
The order includes the following:
- Bars and similar establishments are required to close as of 12:00 PM on June 26. These businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
- Beginning June 29, restaurants may remain open for dine-in service at a capacity of no more than 50% of the total listed indoor occupancy.
- Rafting and tubing businesses must close.
- Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.
Previously, Governor Greg Abbott stated that the State of Texas will pause any further phases to open Texas. More information on this order and previous orders can be found here.
All individuals are encouraged to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a face covering, washing their hands regularly and social distancing from others.
All businesses should continue to follow the minimum standard health protocols from DSHS. For details and a full list of guidelines, openings, and relevant dates, visit http://open.texas.gov.
Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order (GA-24) terminating air travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor's new order immediately terminates all restrictions contained in the Governor's previous Executive Order (GA-20) that mandated temporary quarantines for air travelers arriving from the following areas of the United States: California; Connecticut; New York; New Jersey; Washington; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; or Miami, Florida.
View the Governor's Executive Order (GA-24) relating to the termination of air travel restrictions as part of the safe, strategic plan to Open Texas in response to the COVID-19 disaster.
The Governor's Small Business Webinar Series
The Governor’s Small Business Webinar Series providse small business owners and entrepreneurs with timely, relevant, actionable information on COVID-19 recovery resources. Businesses also get the chance to connect with local experts and support systems. More information is available here.
Texas Comfort Food Care Packages
Governor Greg Abbott announced the Comfort Food Care Package (CFCP) program to provide meals for at-risk youth and families in communities across Texas as the state responds to COVID-19. As part of the program, participating restaurants offer CFCPs for patrons to purchase on behalf of families and youth in need. Each care package contains enough food to feed a family of 5 to 6 and will be delivered to recipients’ homes. The program is a partnership between the Governor's Public Safety Office, the Texas network of Family and Youth Success Programs (formerly called Services to At-Risk Youth), Favor Delivery, and the Texas Restaurant Association. See here for more information.
If your employment has been affected by COVID-19, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) encourages you to apply for benefits by utilizing the online claim portal, or by calling the Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday.
TWC may be experiencing increased call volumes and hold times on Tele-Center phone lines. You are encouraged to use the online claim portal, Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS), to handle your claim needs quickly. UBS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You may also sign up for electronic correspondence so you can receive TWC communications online as soon as possible.
TWC will investigate why you lost your job and mail a decision explaining whether you are eligible for unemployment benefits. For additional information and resources for job seekers, visit TWC's webpage: twc.texas.gov/news/covid-19-resources-job-seekers
The Texas Department of State Health Services recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of any respiratory virus, including COVID‑19:
Wash hands often for 20 seconds and encourage others to do the same.
If no soap and water are available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Disinfect surfaces, buttons, handles, knobs, and other places touched often.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Practice social distancing. This includes avoiding crowds and minimizing physical contact.
Additionally, the CDC recommends using simple cloth face coverings in public to help slow the spread of the virus.
Domestic Media Landscape Update From MMGY NJF
On the heels of Memorial Day weekend and the summer season’s kick-off, we are starting to see more glimmers of hope for reopening and recovery. With this shift, new trends are emerging, and we’ve been keeping a close eye on how these are being covered by the media.
Many hotels are resuming operations in June in-line with government and CDC guidelines. Brands that had new property launches in the pipeline pre-COVID-19 are moving forward with adapted plans, opening in phases as the situation continues to evolve. The good news is they will be opening.
Below is MMGY NJF’s latest summary of media feedback, rising travel trends and hot topics, as covered in the press.
- Media have switched gears and coverage is now focused on insights on the future of travel and its rebound as envisioned by industry leaders. From The Financial Times anticipating travel to rebuild more responsibly to CNBC listing road trips as the “new travel normal, ” nearly every major outlet has published predictions. The New York Times even ran their story encompassing all sectors of the industry in their “Business” section as a three-page spread.
- With states and countries reopening, more publications such as Good Morning America and CNBC are beginning to publish “go here now” stories, so long as visitors follow the protective measures in place.
- During a recent TravMedia webinar, an AFAR editor went as far as to say, “Trust is the new luxury.” This demand for reliability has led hotels -- who have largely standardized hygiene and social distancing policies -- to potentially “disrupt the disruptor” that is Airbnb.
- Along the same lines, Condé Nast Traveler conducted a study of “first-to-return travelers” and found that safety protocol is key for helping travelers feel comfortable. Iceland has proven to be a trailblazer in this space and saw major success with its promise of testing anyone who enters the country; the destination’s new policy landed glowing features in Bloomberg, New York Post, Travel + Leisure and more.
- Social distancing measures that offer Instagrammable moments, such as Domino Park’s painted circles and an Amsterdam restaurant's quarantine greenhouses, are going viral and leading to more new ideas on how to navigate this “new normal” outside the home.
- With most theaters closed across the nation, The Wall Street Journal, Vulture, The Economist are all citing the drive-in industry’s reinvigoration as a safe activity for minimal contact.
- Bold new amenities and operational design changes to assist with social distancing are receiving a lot of buzz. Architecture and design firm Workshop/APD have been noting that “design will embrace ritual,” where safety measures, such as the washing of hands, will become a staple of the luxury experience.
- In order to avoid social contact enroute, travelers are turning to different methods of transportation as alternatives to commercial flights. Bloomberg, TIME and Robb Report cited newfound demand for private jets, while The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune all noted a spike in RV and camper sales.
- Finally, the media continues to cover the pandemic’s casualties impacting the hospitality industry. For weeks we have witnessed the devastating impact on the F&B space with a staggering number of permanent closures. We’re starting to see hospitality giants like Times Square Edition bear the brunt of the current climate, with news of the property’s shocking closure in mid-May.
Taking all of these emerging trends into consideration, MMGY NJF continues to adapt our strategies for clients in order to generate media coverage on their behalf. During this work-from-home period, we have seen great success with virtual media tours for brands with big news to share and to remain top-of-mind for media. Some brands are now looking to take this one step further with virtual press trips as an immersion experience for media who are not yet comfortable or able to travel. More to come on our new ways of working in future editions.
*Media responses as of 6.1.20
For the most up-to-date information, please utilize the following resources: