Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) says it’s time to “open Texas 100%” and ended the statewide mask mandate, effective next Wednesday, March 10, 2021.
The governor delivered a statewide address Tuesday from Lubbock where he said the state mandates were no longer needed in the battle against COVID-19 and that he was issuing a new executive order that rescinds most of his other pandemic-related orders.
The new order allows all businesses of any type to open 100% and that people will no longer be required to wear face masks in public
To reassure local leaders and citizens concerned the removal of the mask mandate may be coming too soon, Abbott said the executive order allows for restrictions to return should hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients top 15% for more than seven consecutive days. In that case, Abbott sad county judges in those areas would be permitted to use mitigation strategies to prevent further spread of the disease.
However, Abbott said those judges may not jail people for not following orders, they may not invoke any penalties for not wearing a mask and they must allow businesses to operate at least 50% occupancy.