Texas is about to return to life as normal amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
On Tuesday, March 2, Governor Greg Abbott announced that the state would be dropping its mask mandate and businesses will be given the green light to reopen at 100 percent capacity beginning on March 10 after issuing an executive order.
“We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans by opening Texas 100 percent,” Gov. Abbott said in a statement, via Politico.
“Make no mistake, COVID-19 has not disappeared, but it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations, and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed.”
The news comes as health officials warn against loosening restrictions too quickly.
Along with Abbott, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves announced that his state would also be lifting its mask mandates and businesses can reopen starting tomorrow.
“Starting tomorrow, we are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules,” Gov. Reeves wrote on Twitter. “Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!”
Starting tomorrow, we are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules. Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) March 2, 2021
Reeves added: “We’ve been among the 4 or 5 most open states throughout this crisis, and we’ve been rewarded for it with more jobs and economic recovery. That’s not because what we put in place was a light burden. It’s only because the rest of the country was so harsh. We need to recognize that none of these orders, in any state, are anything short of unprecedented. They have to end at the earliest possible moment. This is that moment for Mississippi.”
In recent weeks, states like Montana and Iowa have lifted their mask mandates while Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced this week that restaurants would no longer have to adhere to capacity restrictions.