Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks in Dallas, Texas, USA
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order Thursday reiterating his opposition to mask mandates, Covid-related business restrictions, and vaccination regulations, and fines of up to $ 1,000 against those who fail to comply.
The governor also urged state hospitals to submit daily reports to the Texas Department of Health on their ability to send them to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The new executive order emphasizes that the way forward is based on personal responsibility, not government mandates,” Abbott said in a statement. Abbott’s order repeats and expands on previous orders he issued to punish local officials and others for enforcing various Covid safety protocols.
The measure prohibits government agencies from requiring people to be vaccinated or to provide proof of vaccination. Public and private institutions that receive government funding are prohibited from denying entry to people based on their vaccination status, but all nursing homes and residential facilities can still require vaccinations for their residents.
Abbott has included an executive order, first updated on Abbott’s 18th order, adding that state hospitals, residential centers and prisons “may continue to apply adequate guidelines for wearing face-coverings.”
The order stresses the lifting of all public health restrictions on Texan businesses as well and encourages the use of masks in areas with increased coronavirus transmission rates.
“Texans have mastered the safe practices that will help prevent and avoid the spread of COVID-19,” the Abbott statement read. “They have the individual right and responsibility to decide for themselves and their children whether they wear masks, open their shops and pursue leisure activities.”