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Texas will no longer ask its residents to use facial coverings and has lifted all restrictions on commercial establishments, Governor Gregg Abbott, a Republican, announced Tuesday.
“Too many Texans have been sidelined from employment opportunities. Too many small business owners have struggled to pay their bills. This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100%,” Abbott said from Lubbock, Texas.
The order that lifts the mask mandate is effective immediately. All commercial establishments can reopen starting March 10, and they will face no restrictions by the state.
Despite the announcement, Abbott advised residents to follow the same standards to protect themselves from exposure to the coronavirus.
“Texans should continue to follow medical advice on COVID prevention just as they do with other medical conditions. This is exactly how Texans were able to deal with infectious diseases in the past, such as H1N1. They followed safe practices and received medical treatment when necessary,” he added.
Mississipi joins Texas
Shortly after learning of Texas’ move, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, also a Republican, announced that the mask mandate will be lifted in all counties in the state starting Wednesday. In addition, he reported that businesses will be able to operate without any restrictions.
“Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!” posted Reeves via Twitter.