This afternoon, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order No. GA-29, requiring Texans residing in counties with more than 20 COVID-19 cases to wear a face-covering over the nose and mouth while in a commercial space, public building, or in an outdoor setting that does not allow for six feet of social distancing, with a few exceptions. The statewide order goes into effect at 12:01 p.m. on Friday, July 3.
The face-covering requirement does not apply to the following:
- Children under 10 years old
- Anyone with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering
- Eating or drinking, or seated in a restaurant to eat or drink
- Exercising or engaging in physical activity outdoors (as long as distance is maintained
- Driving alone or with passengers from the same household
- Obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face-covering for security surveillance, screening or a need for specific access to the face (i.e. visiting a bank or obtaining a personal care service involving the face), but only to the extent necessary for the temporary removal
- While in a swimming pool, lake or similar body of water
- Voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher or actively administering an election (though a face covering is strongly encouraged)
- Actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship (though a face covering is strongly encouraged)
- Giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience
Not excepted from the requirement are those attending a protest or demonstration involving more than 10 people who are not practicing safe social distancing of six feet from people outside their household.
Following a verbal or written warning for a first-time violation, the order includes a fine of up to $250 for subsequent violations. In addition, mayors and county judges can impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of over 10 people.