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Governor Abbott Establishes Statewide Face Covering Requirement

Today, Governor Abbott issued an Executive Order which requires that a face mask shall be worn inside a commercial entity or when in an outdoor public space, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from someone not in your same household.  A person does not have to wear a face mask if: 

1)      a person is younger than 10 years of age;

2)      a person has a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;

3)       a person is consuming food or drink, or is seated at a restaurant to eat or drink;

4)      a 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;

5)      a person is driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver;

6)      a person is 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;

7)      a person is in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water;

8)      a person  is voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher, or actively administering an election, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;

9)      a person is actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;

10)   a person is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience; or

11)   a person is in a county (a) that meets the requisite criteria the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) regarding minimal cases of COVID-19, and (b) whose county judge has affirmatively opted-out of this face-covering requirement by filing with TDEM the required face-covering attestation form—provided, however, that wearing a face covering is highly recommended, and every county is strongly encouraged to follow these face-covering standards.

A person in violation of the order can receive up to a $250 fine for each violation, however the first violation shall be issued a warning.