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Posted on: July 2, 2020

Gov. Abbott Establishes Statewide Face Covering Requirement, Issues Proclamation To Limit Gatherings

Source: The State of Texas Governor’s Office

AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today issued an Executive Order requiring all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions. The Governor 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 cannot be in groups larger than ten 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 Governor 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.”

Additionally, the Governor released a new video message to coincide with his Executive Order, encouraging Texans to do their part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and keep their communities safe. The video can be downloaded at this link and can also be viewed on YouTube.

Masking Requirement

  • Governor issued new masking requirement for anyone over the age of 10
  • Includes wearing a mask in businesses and public spaces
  • There are some exceptions
    • any person younger than 10 years of age;
    • any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
    • any person while the person is consuming food or drink, or is seated at a restaurant to eat or drink;
    • any person while the person is (a) exercising outdoors or engaging in physical activity outdoors, and (b) maintaining a safe distance from other people not in the same household;
    • any person while the person is driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver;
    • any 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 only to the extent necessary for the temporary removal;
    • any person while the person is in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water;
    • any person who is voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher, or actively administering an election, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;
    • any person who is actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;
    • any person while the person is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience;

Mask Enforcement

  • Law enforcement or other staff as deemed appropriate will issue a verbal or written warning and a second violation shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $250.
  • Businesses can still refuse service to those not observing masking requirements
  • This executive order hereby prohibits confinement in jail as a penalty for the violation of any face-covering order by any jurisdiction.

Outdoor Gatherings

  • Outdoor gatherings of 10 or greater are prohibited unless approved by County Judge or Mayor
  • Outdoor pavilion rentals have been cancelled at city parks
  • This would apply to outdoor events on private property
  • Certain exceptions apply

    • Essential Businesses
    • Religious services, including those conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship;
    • Local government operations, including county and municipal governmental operations relating to licensing (including marriage licenses), permitting, recordation, and document-filing services, as determined by the local government;
    • Child-care services;
    • Youth camps, including all summer camps and other daytime and overnight camps for youths; and
    • Recreational sports programs for youths and adults;
    • Aquatic activities
    • Professional sporting events

Links to Governors Orders:

View the Governor’s Executive Order.
View the Governor’s Proclamation.


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