Restriction capacities on businesses are to be lifted on March 10.
In an announcement in Lubbock Tuesday afternoon, Governor Greg Abbott called for an end to the statewide mask mandate and to allow all businesses in Texas to open to 100% capacity.
“This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100 percent,” said Abbott. “Everybody that wants to work should have that opportunity. Every business that wants to open, should be open.”
As for the timing, Abbott contended that Texas was in a position to reopen, citing the public’s increased awareness of the virus, accessible COVID testing facilities, treatment medication and other medical advancements.
“Back then hardly any Texan knew what PPE was. Now we have an abundance of it,” Abbott said.
Abbott also said that Texans have “mastered the daily habits to avoid getting COVID.”
Most importantly, the Texas governor noted, Texas can reopen due to the ongoing vaccinations.
“Despite these changes, remember this: removing state mandates does not end personal responsibility,” said Abbott. “Or the importance of caring for your family members or caring for your friends and caring for your community.”
Abbott’s decision goes against the counsel health expert officials.
“This would absolutely not be a good time to do that,” said Houston Health Authority Dr. David Persse on Monday.
“At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
Health professionals advise the public to continue wearing masks and practicing social distancing and engaging in other safety measures to limit the spread of the virus.
“Make no mistake, COVID-19 has not disappeared, but it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations, and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed,” Abbott said.