“Texans, not the government, must determine their best health practices so that masks are not enforced by public school districts or government agencies. We can mitigate COVID-19 while protecting the independence of the Texans,” Abbott said in a news release.
The administrative order allows public schools to continue with current masked guidelines until June 4; However, after June 4, no student, teacher, parent or staff will be required to wear the mask on a school basis.
Local governments or officials who attempt to impose a mask order could face fines of up to $ 1,000 from May 21, the release said.
However, the order exempts pro-government living centers, state-owned or operated hospitals, the Department of Judicial Facilities and district and municipal prisons.
Abbott has previously come out against local Texas officials who enforced mask orders. In late April 2020, the governor thwarted Harris County officials who tried to fine him for not wearing a mask.
In June 2020, the Abbott government announced that it was moving to its third phase – meaning “all businesses in Texas can operate up to 50% capacity, with very few exceptions.” On June 12, Abbott stressed that “there is no real need to start a business in the state because cases are on the rise in the state” because we have a lot of hospital beds for anyone who is sick. “