By Sahar Chmais
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order Tuesday, May 18 that prohibits governmental entities in Texas from requiring or mandating mask wearing. The rule is effective immediately.
Governmental entities include counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities and governmental officials. Public schools will not have to change their current mask-wearing guidelines through June 4.
After June 4, no student, parent, teacher, staff member or visitor can be forced to wear a mask on campus.
If any of the following entities attempt to enforce mask-wearing after May 21, they are 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,” Abbott 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.”
There are several exemptions from the Executive Order. These include 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.