Texas governor lifts masks order, says businesses can open at 100%

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks attends a news conference where he provided an update to Texas'...
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks attends a news conference where he provided an update to Texas' response to COVID-19, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)(Eric Gay | AP)
Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 2:03 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KXII) - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Tuesday announced he’s lifting the mask mandate he issued eight months ago.

Abbott also announced Tuesday afternoon in Lubbock he’s lifting restrictions on businesses.

“It is now time to open Texas 100%,” Abbott said.

Effective next Wednesday all businesses of any type are allowed to open at 100% capacity, he said.

“Texas is far better positioned now that when I issued my last order in October,” Abbott said, citing the availability of personal protective equipment, COVID-19 testing and increasing supplies of vaccines.

Abbott issued orders on Sept. 17 and Oct. 7 tied to hospitalization rates relaxing earlier restrictions.

He predicted within a few months every Texas who wants to be vaccinated can get vaccinated.

COVID-19 has not disappeared, he said, but it’s clear state mandates are no longer needed.

“Each person has their own role to play in their personal safety as well as the safety of others,” he said.

Abbott issued the mask order on July 2, 2020 requiring residents of all counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases to wear face coverings in public areas.

The order provided for a warning to first-time violators, a fine of as much as $250 for a second violation and fines of as much as $250 for each subsequent violation.

The order listed exemptions including children younger than 10, people with medical conditions, people who are eating and people who are exercising, but did not exempt anyone attending a protest or demonstration involving more than 10 people.

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