TEXAS – Gov. Greg Abbott announced that he will end the mandate to wear face masks throughout the state of Texas next week and allow all businesses to operate at full capacity.
“Now is the time to open Texas 100%, Texas has fought the coronavirus pandemic in the most extensive way, to the point that people and companies do not need the state to tell them how to operate,” he noted.
Abbott said he was repealing most of the previous executive orders he issued over the past year to stop the spread of the virus.
He pointed out that as of March 10, all companies of any type can open 100%.
Also included in said mandate is the re-opening of sporting events, concerts and similar events. The masks will no longer be needed in public for the first time since last summer.
Meanwhile, the spread of the virus remains significant across the state, with Texas averaging more than 200 deaths a day in the past week. And while Abbott has expressed optimism that vaccines will be rapidly distributed, less than 7% of Texans had been fully vaccinated as of this weekend.
Texas will become the most populous state in the country to not have a mask mandate. Currently, more than 30 states have one.
As of now, most businesses can operate at 75% capacity, unless their region experiences an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Recognizing that some local leaders remain concerned about the spread of the virus in their communities, Abbott presented a strategy that allows them to take matters into their own hands in certain circumstances.