Gov. Abbott issues face coverings executive order

Updated: Jul. 2, 2020 at 3:33 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order Thursday requiring face coverings to be worn in buildings or outdoor spaces open to the public whenever maintaining six feet of social distancing is not feasible.

The order goes into effect Friday at 12:01 p.m.

The following are exceptions to the order:

  • Any person younger than 10 years of age;
  • Any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
  • Any person while the person is consuming food or drink, or is seated at a restaurant to eat or drink;
  • Any person while the person is (a) exercising outdoors or engaging in physical activity outdoors, and (b) maintaining a safe distance from other people not in the same household;
  • Any person while the person is driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver;
  • Any person obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face covering for security surveillance, screening, or a need for specific access to the face, such as while visiting a bank or while obtaining a personal care service involving the face, but only to the extent necessary for the temporary removal;
  • Any person while the person is in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water;
  • Any person who is voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher, or actively administering an election, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;
  • Any person who is actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged; 10. any person while the person is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience; or
  • Any person in a county (a) that meets the requisite criteria promulgated by the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) regarding minimal cases of COVID-19, and (b) whose county judge has affirmatively opted-out of this face-covering requirement by filing with TDEM the required face-covering attestation form—provided, however, that wearing a face covering is highly recommended, and every county is strongly encouraged to follow these face-covering standards.

The order also states anyone attending a protest with 10 or more people who can not keep six feet of distance between each other must wear face coverings.

First time offences will be met with a verbal or written warning. Any violations past the first warning shall be punishable by a fine of up to $250.

The order also prohibits any jail time for violators.

The governor also issued an amendment to his outdoor gatherings executive order.

Any outdoor gatherings with over 10 people is prohibited unless prior approval from the mayor or county judge is obtained.

This amendment will go into effect July 3 at 12:01 p.m.

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