Texas Governor Gregg Abbott on March 31, 2020, issued Executive Order GA 14 renewing social distancing guidelines in Texas. Of particular significance to the insurance industry, the Governor’s Order adopted U.S. Department of Homeland Security guidance establishing insurance services as “essential services” and classifying members of the insurance industry as federally identified “essential critical infrastructure workers” under the broader heading of “Financial Services.” Accordingly, insurance industry employees traveling for business purposes are now automatically exempt from the previous Texas travel-related quarantine requirements of Governor Abbott’s prior Executive Orders GA-11 and GA-12. However, in recognition of federal guidelines relating to hygiene, sanitation and social distancing, the Governor’s Order directs that all essential services should be provided through remote telework from home unless they are essential services that cannot be provided through remote telework. The Texas Division of Emergency Management may add additional Texas essential services to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security listing. The Governor’s Order takes effect on April 2, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and expires on April 30, 2020.
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