Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order Thursday, July 2 mandating all Texans wear a face covering over their nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions. The Executive Order goes into effect Friday, July 3, at 12:01 p.m. In addition Abbott 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 can not be in groups larger than 10 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 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.”
Facemask Order Exemptions
- Children under 10 years of age.
- People with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering.
- Any person consuming food or drink or is seated at a restaurant to eat or drink.
- Any person exercising outdoors or engaging in physical activity outdoors and maintaining a safe distance from people not in the same household.
- A person driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver.
- A 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 not only to the extent of temporary removal.
- Any person who is in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water.
- Any person voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher, or actively administering an election, but wearing a facemask is strongly encouraged.
- Any person actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged.
- A person giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience.
Read Governor Greg Abbott’s full Executive Order and Proclamation at gov.texas.gov.