(Charlie L. Harper III/Austonia)

Austin Mayor Steve Adler issued an order that requires businesses to mandate masks for customers and people who work there after a similar order issued by the Bexar County judge received the governor's approval.


"The Governor has now given us a path and we will act consistent with his statement," Adler said in a statement Wednesday night. "During this time, we will transition to a more direct order on masks, working with our business community so our whole city moves forward together and so that everyone can get prepared."


Read the full order.

Travis County Judge Sam Briscoe is considering a similar order, a spokesperson confirmed via text.

Previous efforts by local officials—including in Austin—to require masking have failed because of a May 1 executive order issued by the governor that explicitly prevented jurisdictions from mandating that people wear masks in public.

But Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff issued an order earlier today that requires businesses to make customers and employees wear masks while on the premises. Businesses have until Monday to comply, or risk a $1,000 fine.

During an interview with KWTX earlier today, Abbott said his executive order prevents local governments from requiring that individuals wear masks—but businesses are fair game.

"It turned out earlier today that the county judge in Bexar County finally figured that out," he said.

Abbott continued, explaining that businesses have "always had the opportunity and the ability, just like they can require people to require shoes and shirts, these businesses can require people to wear face masks if they come into their businesses."

Yesterday, Adler and eight other Texas mayors wrote Abbott a letter seeking the authority to regulate the use of face coverings in their cities amid the continued spread of COVID-19.

"We should trust local officials to make informed choices about health policy," the groups wrote. "And if mayors are given the opportunity to require face coverings, we believe our cities will be ready to help reduce the spread of this disease."

This article has been updated from the original.

(Kent Wang/CC)

In a new real estate report looking at the most and least expensive cities to buy a house, Austin crumbled, falling near the bottom of the list and below every other Texas city mentioned.

Keep Reading Show less

With Thanksgiving a few days away, finding the perfect wine to serve during dinner can be time consuming for anyone. Whether you are looking for a full-bodied red to serve during your dinner, or a rich white wine to pair with appetizers and desserts, Texas wines have so much to offer.

Keep Reading Show less
(Shutterstock)

Local immigration advocates expect that, very soon after President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20, he will begin overturning federal policies implemented during the Trump administration. And then they expect demand for immigrant legal services in Austin to jump.

Keep Reading Show less
(Pexels)

Local health officials repeated their request that Austinites not gather this Thanksgiving and recommended that Travis County schools return to virtual learning in the week after the holiday in an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Keep Reading Show less
(Williamsom County)

Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell reportedly violated his own stay-at-home order by attending a family birthday party in the spring.

Keep Reading Show less
(TechCrunch/CC)

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018 on September 5, 2018 in San Francisco.

The CEO of Dropbox, one of the most popular cloud storage services, is planning a move to Austin.

Keep Reading Show less
(Austonia)

When local officials recommended businesses limit their capacity beyond state requirements due to the current surge in COVID cases, restaurateur Eric Silverstein was discouraged.

Keep Reading Show less