Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has decreed that face coverings must be worn in public spaces beginning at noon Friday, July 3.
The governor issued an executive order Thursday, July, mandating the use of face coverings as the least restrictive means available to protect Texans from the COVID-19 virus.
According to the order, every person in Texas must wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when in an building or space open to the public, or when in an outdoor public space where it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from other people not in the same household.
A handful of exceptions are allowed, such as for children under the age of 10, while eating or drinking, while driving alone or with passengers from the same household, when obtaining a service requires removal of a mask, while swimming, for religious worship and while giving a speech.
Counties with fewer than 10 COVID-19 cases are exempt from the order.
First-time violators of the order will receive a verbal or written warning from a law enforcement officer, and a second violation is punishable by a fine up to $250. Each subsequent violation will also be punishable by a fine up to $250.
After starting to reopen Texas businesses last month, Abbott reversed himself on Friday, June 26, and ordered bars to close and restaurants to limit dining room occupancy to 50 percent of capacity.
Texas had 168,062 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Friday afternoon.
From Staff Reports • [email protected]