Governor Abbott Establishes Statewide Face Covering Requirement, Issues Proclamation To Limit GatheringsFree Access

Governor Greg Abbott today issued an Executive Order requiring all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions. The Governor also issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of over 10 people, and making it mandatory that, with certain exceptions, people cannot be in groups larger than ten and must maintain six feet of social distancing from others.”Wearing a face covering in public is proven to be one of the most effective ways we have to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott. “We have the ability to keep businesses open and move our economy forward so that Texans can continue to earn a paycheck, but it requires each of us to do our part to protect one another—and that means wearing a face-covering in public spaces. Likewise, large gatherings are a clear contributor to the rise in COVID-19 cases. Restricting the size of groups gatherings will strengthen Texas’ ability to corral this virus and keep Texans safe. We all have a responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe. If Texans commit to wearing face coverings in public spaces and follow the best health and safety practices, we can both slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep Texas open for business. I urge all Texans to wear a face covering in public, not just for their own health, but for the health of their families, friends, and for all our fellow Texans.”

Additionally, the Governor released a new video message to coincide with his Executive Order, encouraging Texans to do their part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and keep their communities safe. The video can be downloaded at this link and can also be viewed on YouTube.

Every person in Texas shall wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public, or when in an outdoor public space, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household; provided, however, that this face-covering requirement does not apply to:

1. any person younger than 10 years of age;
2. any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
3. any person while the person is consuming food or drink, or is seated at a restaurant to eat or drink;
4. any person while the person is (a) exercising outdoors or engaging in physical activity outdoors, and (b) maintaining a safe distance from other people not in the same household;
5. any person while the person is driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver;
6. any person obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face covering for security surveillance, screening, or a need for specific access to the face, such as while visiting a bank or while obtaining a personal- care service involving the face, but only to the extent necessary for the temporary removal;
7. any person while the person is in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water;
8. any person who is voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poli watcher, or actively administering an election, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;
9. any person who is actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;
10. any person while the person is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience; or
11. any person in a county (a) that meets the requisite criteria

Not exempted from this face-covering requirement is any person attending a protest or demonstration involving more than 10 people and who is not practicing safe social distancing of six feet from other people not in the same household.

TDEM shall maintain on its website a list of counties that are not subject to this face-covering requirement pursuant to paragraph number 11. The list can be found at: www.tdem.texas.gov/ga29.

Following a verbal or written warning for a first-time violator of this face- covering requirement, a person’s second violation shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $250. Each subsequent violation shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $250 per violation.

Local law enforcement and other local officials, as appropriate, can and should enforce this executive order, Executive Order GA-28, and other effective executive orders, as well as local restrictions that are consistent with this executive order and other effective executive orders. But no law enforcement or other official may detain, arrest, or confine in jail any person for a violation of this executive order or for related non-violent, non-felony offenses that are predicated on a violation of this executive order; provided, however, that any official with authority to enforce this executive order may act to enforce trespassing laws and remove violators at the request of a business establishment or other property owner.

This executive order hereby prohibits confinement in jail as a penalty for the violation of any face-covering order by any jurisdiction.

The governor may by proclamation amend this executive order or add to the list of people to whom this face-covering requirement does not apply.
This executive order does not supersede Executive Orders GA-b, GA-13, GA-17, GA 19, GA-24, GA-25, GA-27, or GA-28 as amended. This executive order shall remain in effect and in full force until modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by the
governor.

One response to “Governor Abbott Establishes Statewide Face Covering Requirement, Issues Proclamation To Limit Gatherings”

  1. Carol Stafford says:

    My already deteriorating confidence in Gov Abbott has now hit bottom. I will not for him if there is any viable conservative, Texas-loving candidate on the ballot for Gov of Texas or any other position that requires loyalty and courage, which I do not see in Gov Abbott’s actions regarding Covid-19. Had he done research into the reason for the increased positive Covid tests he would have been aware that backing up in reopening Texas was not the right decision.

    Further, this order is hypocritical in that while requiring protestors to wear masks which is consistent with requirements placed on others, it also serves to disguise those who commit crimes during and around the protests which often turn violent. The best answer is to allow, but not require masks at all in everyday circumstances, and don’t allow them in protest situations. He says he wants to keep Texas open for business so he allows businesses to open their doors, then restricts their ability to serve customers in quantities that make the business profitable, and restricts the movement of potential customers which effectively discourages their desire to enter the business. I think he speaks out of both sides of his mouth, more like a mafia godfather with enforcers as in ‘do what I say or pay me’.

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