Governor’s order prohibits government entities from mandating masks

Published on May 18, 2021

Gov. Greg Abbott today issued an executive order prohibiting governmental entities in Texas — including counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities or government officials — from requiring or mandating mask wearing.

Public schools may continue to follow current mask-wearing guidelines through June 4. After June 4, no student, teacher, parent or other staff member or visitor can be required to wear a mask while on campus.

Beginning May 21, local governments or officials that attempt to impose a mask mandate or impose a limitation inconsistent or conflicting with the executive order can be subject to a fine of up to $1,000.

“The Lone Star State continues to defeat COVID-19 through the use of widely-available vaccines, antibody therapeutic drugs and safe practices utilized by Texans in our communities,” the governor said. “Texans, not government, should decide their best health practices, which is why masks will not be mandated by public school districts or government entities. We can continue to mitigate COVID-19 while defending Texans’ liberty to choose whether or not they mask up.”

Exempt from the executive order: state-supported living centers, government-owned or operated hospitals, Texas Department of Criminal Justice facilities, Texas Juvenile Justice Department facilities and county and municipal jails.

Businesses and other entities may still require masks on their private property, if desired.

Last week, after the Centers for Disease Control issued guidance stating that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors, the City of Fort Worth announced that masks will no longer be required for fully vaccinated people who are working at or visiting a city facility, effective June 1. However, in light of today’s executive order from the governor, effective immediately masks will no longer be required for any employee or visitor in a city facility, regardless of vaccination status. Temperature checks will also no longer be required.

View the governor’s executive order.

 

 

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