Most government authorities in Texas will soon be prohibited from requiring people to wear masks, Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Tuesday, days after federal health officials announced new guidance that encourages people who have been completely vaccinated to forego masks in most situations.
The executive order Mr. Abbott announced on Tuesday would prevent counties, cities, public health authorities and local government officials from requiring people to wear masks beginning on Friday. Violators could be fined $1,000.
Hospitals owned or operated by the government, state-supported living centers and jails and other criminal justice facilities are exempt from the order. Schools can continue their current mask policies until June 4, the end of the school year in some Texas districts, after which they will not be allowed to compel anyone to wear a mask. The C.D.C. also recommended that masks remain universally in use in K-12 schools until the end of the current school year.
Only a third of Texans are fully vaccinated, below the U.S. average of 37 percent, according to a New York Times database. No Covid-19 vaccines have been authorized yet for children under 12.
rescinded a statewide mask mandate and capacity restrictions on March 10, the new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were less of a shock than they were in other states, where officials and business leaders scrambled to figure out how to safely accommodate residents and customers. Many states, and chains like Target, CVS and Best Buy, have
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