Gov. Greg Abbott allowing businesses to open at 100 percent; ends mask mandate

Gov. Greg Abbott just announced his much-anticipated announcement Tuesday.

Gov. Greg Abbott just announced his much-anticipated announcement Tuesday.

Ricardo Brazziell /TNS

Gov. Greg Abbott announced the end to his orders first put in place at the beginning of the pandemic.

He said "it is now time to open Texas 100 percent," meaning the capacity limit at local businesses will no longer be 75 percent starting next Wednesday. He also said the face mask mandate is no more starting next Wednesday, as well.

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County judges can impost stricter COVID-19 mitigation strategies if COVID-19 hospitalizations rise above 15 percent for seven straight days, Abbott said. However, they cannot impose face mask restrictions or jail time.

"Everybody that wants to work should have that opportunity," he said. "Every business that wants to open should be open."

The announcement was made at a press conference at Montelongo's Mexican Restaurant in Lubbock in an address to the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce. He said people and businesses don't need the state telling them how to operate.

"We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans by opening Texas 100 percent," Abbott said." 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."

Priscilla Aguirre is a general assignment reporter for MySA.com | priscilla.aguirre@express-news.net | @CillaAguirre