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Gov. Abbott: All businesses can open at 100%, masks no longer required

In a statewide press conference on Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott said that Texas would end the statewide mask mandate and "open Texas 100%."

Effective Wednesday, March 10, Abbott's newest executive order will rescind statewide COVID-19 restrictions, including limiting business capacity and requiring customers to wear masks in businesses. The order will also ensure that any business can now operate at full capacity.


"It is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations ... that state mandates are no longer needed," Abbott said at the press conference. "Every business that wants to be open, should be open."

Abbott cited lowering case rates, better protections against the virus and record-high vaccine shipments as motivations for lifting the mandate.

Although the state will not mandate masks or limit business capacity, if a county's COVID hospital capacity reaches above 15% for seven straight days, then county judges may use mitigation strategies. Abbott said that he does not believe this will occur and that no punishments can be enforced if residents choose not to follow the mandates.

"Under no circumstance can a county judge put anybody in jail for not following COVID orders, and no penalties can be imposed for failing to wear a face mask," Abbott said. "More importantly, we believe there will not be the threshold met for hospitalizations for county judges to even consider implementing those strategies because Texas will continue to work collaboratively with all counties to speed the vaccination process."

According to Abbott, Texas has now administered 5.7 million vaccine shots and are now administering about 1 million vaccines a week. Abbott also said the COVID-19 positivity rate is the lowest on Tuesday than it has been in four months.

Abbott said that 50% of Texas' seniors are projected to be vaccinated by Wednesday, March 10, while all seniors should be able to get a vaccine if they choose by the end of March. Some medical experts have predicted that every Texan who wants a vaccine may be able to get one in a few months.

While restrictions are lifted, Abbott said that Texans need to continue to be vigilant and follow their own personal safety protocol to keep themselves and their neighbors safe.

"Removing state mandates does not end personal responsibility," Abbott said. "To stay safe, Texans should continue to follow medical advice on preventing COVID just as they do on other medical issues. At this time, people and businesses don't need the state telling them how to operate."

Popular

Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation


🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway