AUSTIN, Texas - After receiving several inquires, the Austin Police Department took to Twitter to clarify that the current stay-at-home order in place in Austin-Travis County due to COVID-19 is not a mandatory lockdown.
"APD's priority is to keep the public safe through education and awareness," a statement from the police department said.
APD continued to say that their goal is "gain voluntary compliance" and will, if deemed necessary, issue warnings and, as a "last resort," issue citations.
"It’s still fine to leave your home to buy groceries, go for a run, walk the dog, pick up medicine, visit a doctor or travel to and from work (if designated as an essential business)," APD wrote.
The police department also says that documentation beyond regular ID requirements for transportation is not required to travel to essential activities or businesses.
On March 19, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a public health disaster, the first in Texas since 1901. The executive orders, which took effect at midnight Friday, March 20 and goes through midnight on Friday, April 3, bring the state in line with CDC guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The public health disaster orders schools to be closed statewide until at least April 3. The disaster also orders a ban on dine-in eating and gathering in groups of more than 10 as the state ramps up efforts to battle the coronavirus. Abbott's order also will shut down gyms and bars. It also bans visits to nursing and retirement homes unless there is a critical need.
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