The city of Austin, Texas, is banning gatherings of 250 people or more beginning at 2 a.m. Sunday until at least May 1, according to a news release from the city.
Mayor Steve Adler’s order defines community gatherings as “any indoor or outdoor event that is likely to bring together 250 or more people at the same time in a single room or other confined or enclosed space, such as an auditorium, theatre, stadium arena or event center, meeting hall, conference center, large cafeteria, restaurant, nightclub/bar, or any other confined indoor or confined outdoor space.”
Weddings, religious gatherings, parties, funerals, sporting events, social events, conferences and other large gatherings are just some examples of events that could potentially be included in the ban, the release said.
“The prohibition does not generally include office space or residential buildings, transit including airports, bus stations or terminals, grocery stores, shopping malls, or hospitals and medical offices and facilities,” the release said, with the reason being that people in these areas tend to not be within an arm’s reach of each other for an extended period of time.
The new order will be enforced by peace officers, City of Austin Code Department inspectors and the Office of the Austin Fire Marshall beginning at 7 a.m. Monday, the release says.
Those in violation of the order will face a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or jail of up to 180 days.