Gov. Abbotts Ends Mask Mandate and Fully Opens Businesses on March 10

On March 2, Gov. Abbott announced that the state’s mask mandate will end on March 10th, and that all businesses can return to 100 percent capacity.  The business re-opening provisions include sporting events, concerts, and similar events.

Gov. Abbott said, “It is now time to open Texas 100 percent.”

Individual businesses maintain the right and freedom to operate their businesses as they see fit, including, if they choose, to require customers and employees to continue to wear masks, limit capacity, or implement additional safety protocols.  However, "under no circumstance" can a county judge jail or punish someone for not following their local orders if they conflict with Gov. Abbott’s order. Local jurisdictions also cannot impose penalties on people for failing to wear masks, or on businesses for not mandating that customers or employees wear masks.

Gov. Abbott did say that if certain parameters on COVID infections occur then local mitigation can occur.  Specifically, if COVID-19 hospitalizations in any of Texas' 22 hospital regions rise above 15 percent of the capacity in that region for seven straight days, “local mitigation strategies” can then be deployed.