Austin Center for Events requiring enhanced safety for permits

The Austin Center for Events will soon start requiring additional mitigation strategies in it's permit applications.

Beginning Monday, Aug. 30, ACE says an enhanced version of the Health and Safety Form will be required as part of the special event application process. This form, according to ACE, presents organizers with several COVID-19 mitigation efforts to consider and allows for applicants to provide information on how they intend to implement them.  

ACE had worked with Austin Public Health to adjust their permitting process in April of 2021 and these additional measures are now included on the form to increase public safety as hospital resources have become strained during the latest COVID-19 surge. 

ACE says enhanced mitigation criteria for permitting include: 

  • Screening at event entrances by requiring in-person attendees to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to the event.  
  • Developing strategies for maintaining at least 6 feet of social distancing. 
  • Including "mask zones" in outdoor event areas where social distancing is not possible. (Note: Masks are required at all times at any City of Austin or Travis County facility.)

For indoor events with 1,000+ attendees, and outdoor events with 2,500+, ACE says the submitted Health and Safety Form must be approved by APH. An APH staff member will review the forms and either approve plans or work with the organizer on strengthening mitigation efforts to hold a safe event for attendees and the community. 

"It goes without saying that we all recognize what incredibly challenging times we are in these days. Like many in our community, we are eager to plan and prepare for events," said Assistant Director of the Development Services Department Beth Culver. "The challenge is that we are in an ever-evolving situation. The Austin Center for Events and APH teams are committed to working with event organizers to provide as much information as available to help inform event planning efforts to keep our community safe." 

ACE says they will continue to work with APH to monitor the local situation regarding COVID-19 and the permit decision-making process. 

ACE does note that these changes only apply to events that are required to obtain a special event permit, meaning activities at Q2 Stadium, Circuit of the Americas, and Moody Amphitheatre at Waterloo Greenway are not included as those facilities do not fall under the Special Events Ordinance. Additionally, venues throughout town holding events may not require special events permits through ACE due to annual sound permits that are already in place with those private businesses. 

SUBSCRIBE: Daily Newsletter | YouTube
FOLLOW: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter