SAN ANTONIO – Stay Home, Work Safe” emergency orders issued by San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff went into effect Tuesday night, but many people are still left with questions about which businesses must close and which are exempt.
In terms of enforcement, Bexar County is going to mirror efforts by the City of San Antonio, according to Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales. “We’re not going to be looking to enforce violations,” Gonzales said. “We are going to operate under the assumption that you have a legitimate need to be out on the street.”
Gonzales, along with Deputy City Attorney Liz Provencio, Civil Section Chief of the Bexar County District Attorneys Office Larry Roberson and Director of Government and Public Affairs for the City of San Antonio Jeff Coyle provided insight into what’s exempt and what isn’t in a Q&A session Tuesday night.
What businesses are exempt from the emergency order?
- Air-craft manufacturing, maintenance, repairs
- Bicycle repair shops
- Call centers
- Car dealerships
- Car wash
- Cleaning services (Home, office, etc.)
- Delivery services (FedEx, UPS, etc.)
- Farmers markets
- Food delivery services
- Food trucks
- Funeral businesses
- Golf courses
- Hardware stores
- Healthcare providers - including chiropractors, etc.
- Home maintenance
- Home-based babysitting
- Law offices
- Lawncare, landscaping
- Liquor stores
- Moving companies
- Pet-related businesses
- Plumbers, electricians, home repair/maintenance
- Private recycling services
- Tire shops
- Taxi, Uber, Lyft, Car rental
- Tow trucks
Places of worship are expected to use video conferencing or teleconferencing.
All exempt businesses are still expected to have measures in place that keep people at least 6 feet apart.
Photography and other at-home businesses that are conducted entirely from a person’s home, while maintaining the proper social distancing, will be permitted.
Places like golf courses are also exempt due to the amount of distance between people, according to officials.
What businesses are prohibited from operating under the emergency order?
- Flea markets
- Hair salons
- Massage parlors
- Nail salons
- Smoke shops
Roberson said things that are not necessary for your daily life, like hair salons, will not be exempt and should close.
What businesses are allowed to have delivery/pick up options but the retail space must remain closed?
- Flower shops
Officials said employees are allowed to go to their offices to pick up supplies they may need to work from home.
How do I report a business that’s violating the emergency order?
While police officers and sheriff's deputies won't be out actively looking for people who are violating the order, city and county officials say law enforcement will still be responding to complaints. Their focus will be on businesses that are not complying with the directions in the orders.
If you want to report a violation, depending on where it is happening, you can call the SAPD or BCSO non-emergency line.
For violations in San Antonio, call 210-207-SAPD (7273)
For violations elsewhere in Bexar County, including suburban cities, call 210-335-6000
Neither the city or county has reported issuing any citations yet.
A BCSO spokesman said they have received calls for non-essential businesses being open, and all of them have been advised of the new order.
A city spokesman said Wednesday afternoon that of the 199 calls for violations they had received since March 19, they confirmed 160 violations of both the mayor’s new and previous orders.
Please note: This list is not all-inclusive. These answers are provided based on the Q&A session between city leaders on Tuesday night. Watch the full Q&A session here.
You can also find more answers to questions about the Stay Home, Work Smart orders on the city’s website.
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.
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