Texas lifts mask mandate, permits reopening of businesses

Mississippi also lifts its mask mandate, except for K-12 schools.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Face mask
Face mask

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Tuesday that the state is lifting most of its remaining coronavirus restrictions, including its statewide mask mandate and capacity restrictions on businesses, The Hill reported.

In a speech, Abbott emphasized that he expects people will continue to exercise personal responsibility to keep themselves safe without a government mandate.

"Texans have mastered the daily habits to avoid getting COVID," Abbott said

Effective March 10, he added, every business will be allowed to open at 100 percent capacity.

"Make no mistake, COVID has not suddenly disappeared. COVID still exists in Texas, in the United States and across the globe," Abbott said.

"But it is clear from the recoveries, the vaccinations, the reduced hospitalizations and the safe practices that Texans are using, that state mandates are no longer needed," he added.

Abbott cited increasing vaccination rates and a low statewide positivity rate as additional justification, saying that the state is "in a far better position now."

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Mississippi also lifted its mask mandate and other coronavirus restrictions.

Gov. Tate Reeves announced that, effective Wednesday, the state's current public health executive orders will be replaced by recommendations.

“Today, I signed what I expect will be one of my last executive orders regarding COVID-19. Our hospitalizations have plummeted, and our case numbers have fallen dramatically as well. In fact, our case numbers have fallen to the point where no county meets the original criteria for a mask mandate,” Reeves said during a press conference, according to The Hill.

The only places where restrictions, including mask mandates, will remain in effect will be in K-12 schools, Reeves said.

"I believe the most consequential debate playing out in America today is whether children should be in the classroom learning," he added.

The governor urged people to use their best judgement, and said just because restrictions are being lifted doesn't mean COVID-19 is no longer a concern.

"There will still be COVID in our communities, perhaps for a significant amount of time in our state, and across the country. We will all need to decide for ourselves how to assess the risks and rewards of each and every activity we choose to pursue," Reeves said.

"But the risk of overwhelming our hospitals with severe COVID cases is coming to a close, and gets less and less with each and every day we see more of our vulnerable get vaccinated," he added.