TSR Politics: Not only is Texas Governor Greg Abbott banning mask mandates in his state, he’s also threatening to fine any local officials who will try to enforce a mask mandate in their cities/towns.
Abbott issued the executive order this week saying, “Texans have mastered the safe practices that help to prevent and avoid the spread of COVID-19. They have the individual right and responsibility to decide for themselves and their children whether they will wear masks, open their businesses, and engage in leisure activities.”
His order encourages residents in areas with high COVID-19 transmission to “follow the safe practices they have already mastered,” such as wearing masks where social distancing is not feasible, according to The Hill.
Government entities such as county, city, school district, or public health authorities cannot require people to wear face coverings, according to his order. Local government entities that institute mask mandates may be fined up to $1,000.
The order also targets government entities that may have considered requiring employees to be vaccinated. The order said local agencies cannot “compel any individual to receive a COVID-19 vaccine administered under an emergency use authorization.”
Governmental agencies, public entities and private entities that receive public funding, cannot require people to provide proof of vaccination as a condition of receiving services, according to the order.
The order does not stop nursing homes or living facilities from requiring residents to be vaccinated, though.
Abbott’s order comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance stating that fully vaccinated people in areas with “substantial” or “high” transmissions of COVID-19 should wear masks indoors as cases continue to climb thanks to the virus’ delta variant.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made a similar announcement Friday, banning mask mandates in public schools in the state.
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