Texas Governor Bans Local Governments, Schools From Requiring Masks

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the state plans to ban mask mandates by governmental entities, including local governments and public schools.

The executive order prohibits "governmental entities in Texas — including counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities, or government officials — from requiring or mandating mask wearing," a press release states.

Local governments or officials that attempt to impose a mask mandate can be fined up to $1,000 beginning May 21.

Public schools may continue to follow current mask-wearing guidelines through June 4, but after June 4, no student, teacher, parent, or other staff member or visitor can be required to wear a mask while on campus.

"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."

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 are exempt from the executive order.

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