- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he is ending a statewide mask mandate and allowing businesses to open at 100% capacity starting next week.

“It’s time to reopen Texas 100%,” the Republican governor said at a news conference at a Lubbock restaurant.

Mr. Abbott issued an executive order effective March 10 that says businesses in the state will be able to reopen at full capacity after they were previously capped at 75%.

“Too many Texans have been sidelined from employment opportunities. Too many small business owners have struggled to pay their bills. This must end,” he said, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Mr. Abbott said the mandates are “no longer needed” as the number of positive coronavirus cases have continued to fall and vaccinations continue to increase.

“Today’s announcement does not abandon safe practices that Texans have mastered over the past year,” the governor said in a press release. “Instead, it is a reminder that each person has a role to play in their own personal safety and the safety of others. With this executive order, we are ensuring that all businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny.”

A county judge may reimpose restrictions at the county level if COVID-19 hospitalizations in any of the 22 hospital regions in Texas get above 15% of the hospital bed capacity in that region for seven straight days, the press release states.

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