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Local & State Health Orders

Decisions about when and how to reopen your business are governed by several layers of federal, state and local government. Some of the information they provide is recommended guidance; some of the information they provide has the force of a legal mandate. Information presented below distinguishes between the two.

Updated 01/12/2021

Can I open my business?

Due to the historic outbreak of COVID-19 in our community, local leaders have enacted an emergency directive which includes the following:

  • Non-essential businesses must reduce operating at no more than 50% capacity, not including staff members.
  • Bars and similar establishments must remain closed.
  • All businesses must require employees, volunteers, visitors and venders to wear a face covering.

The City’s Sixth Health Directive remains in effect except as noted in the Second Amendment to the Directive.

Are Face Coverings Required in Businesses?

In most cases, yes. The City of El Paso’s 6th Local Emergency Order reaffirmed that every person in El Paso must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when inside a commercial building or public entity or when in an outdoor public space when it is not feasible to keep six feet apart from people who don’t live in their household. Additionally, each business in El Paso must create and post Health and Safety Policy which requires social distancing and the use of masks by employees and customers. Click here to read the emergency order in its entirety.


Businesses across our community are pulling together and doing the right thing to keep El Pasoans safe. For those that don’t, there are consequences for not abiding by local health orders. In general, violations of the orders — including the requirement that most individuals wear masks — can result in a fine of $250. Businesses failing to create and post a compliant Health and Safety policy face a fine of $500. Restaurants who don’t abide by regulations can be fined $1,000.

Should I open my Business?

This is one of the most consequential decisions a business owner can make. Owners should take into account the health, safety and comfort of their employees, their customers, their vendors and others. As a business owner, you have important responsibilities if you operate during the pandemic. While it doesn’t have the force of law, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration has worked with the Department of Health and Human Services to produce this guidance for workplaces.