Late this afternoon, Gov. Abbott issued a new executive order to provide more uniformity and clarity regarding the state’s COVID response. The new order – GA 38 – is focused on potential mask mandates and business capacity restrictions.
The order strictly forbids local jurisdictions – cities, counties, and school districts – from mandating the wearing of masks for anyone, regardless of vaccination status. Furthermore, those same local governmental jurisdictions, along with state agencies and political subdivisions, are barred from requiring proof of vaccination status to enter any place or receive any type of service. Regarding local businesses, the order declares that all businesses in the state are not required to follow any type of local restrictions or guidance regarding capacity limits. Businesses may set their own limits if they choose to do so, but are not required to submit to local city or county restrictions relative to capacity limits.
This order clearly states that it supersedes any and all local orders related to the pandemic. The order also prohibits any local jurisdiction from jailing anyone for violating a local order. The order goes into effect immediately.
The order can be viewed here: https://gov.texas.gov/uploads/files/press/EO-GA-38_continued_response_to_the_COVID-19_disaster_IMAGE_07-29-2021.pdf