UNITED STATES: Texas Governor Greg Abbott lifted a state mask mandate on Tuesday. Abbott has also decided to allow all the businesses to function without any restrictions.
“For nearly half a year, most businesses have been open either 75 percent or 50 percent and during that time, too many Texans have been sidelined from employment opportunities,” Abbott said.
In a speech to the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, Abbott said, “Too many small business owners have struggled to pay their bills. This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100 percent. Every business that wants to be open should be open.”
The Republican governor said that the decision of lifting the restrictions was made because of the arrival of COVID-19 treatments. “Texas now has the tools to protect Texans from the virus,” he said.
Abbott, a Republican, has faced sustained criticism from his party in America’s biggest red state over the statewide mask mandate.The announcement has rattled doctors and city leaders who said that they are now getting ready for another deadly resurgence. More than 43,000 people have died due to COVID-19 in Texas.
Federal health officials this week urgently warned states to not let their guard down, warning that the pandemic is far from over.
Eight months ago, Abbott had imposed a mask mandate in the second most populous US state. He said an executive order rescinding his previous COVID-19 orders and restrictions would take effect on Wednesday.