AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday he’s issued an executive order that bans school districts and other “governmental entities in Texas,” from requiring or mandating masks.
Abbott said that counties, cities, public health authorities or government officials can’t require people wear masks.
In the instance of school districts, they can continue to follow current mask-wearing guidelines through June 4. Most area districts are done with classes by then. Austin Independent School District, for example, is done with classes on June 3.
That means that starting with summer school, no student will be required to wear masks, and they won’t be required for the fall semester under this executive order.
As part of Abbott’s order, beginning May 21, local governments and officials who attempt to require mask mandates or “impose a limitation inconsistent or conflicting with the Executive Order,” could be fined up to $1,000.
There are a few exceptions. State-supported living centers, government-owned or operated hospitals, Texas Department of Criminal Justice facilities, Texas Juvenile Justice Department facilities, and county and municipal jails can still require masks. These include some of those areas hit hardest by the pandemic.