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Gov. Abbott signs executive order prohibiting mask mandates

New executive order will prevent county, city, school district, public health authority or any other government official from mandating the use of masks across Texas.
Texas Executive Order GA 36 will prevent government entities from enforcing mask mandates...
Texas Executive Order GA 36 will prevent government entities from enforcing mask mandates starting on Friday, May 21.(WBRC)
Published: May. 18, 2021 at 1:24 PM CDT|Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 1:27 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KBTX) - Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Tuesday that prohibits any government entity in Texas from requiring or mandating the use of masks. That includes county and city governments, as well as school districts, public health authorities or any other government official.

Public schools will be allowed to keep mask guidelines in place until June 4. After June 4, no student, teacher, parent or other staff member or visitor can be required to wear a mask while on campus. In its current form, the executive order would include institutions of higher learning, like Texas A&M University.

Starting Friday, May 21, any government entity or officials that continues to impose a mask mandate can be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 in violation of the executive order.

“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,” said Abbott. “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.”

Exempt from the executive order are 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.

The executive order does not prevent private businesses from creating their own mask policy.

You can read the full executive order here.

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