Face mask requirement issued by Governor Greg Abbott

This afternoon Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-29 which, effective at 12:01 p.m. tomorrow, July 3 will require individuals over the age of 10 to wear face masks or coverings in most public spaces, including in some outdoor spaces where social distancing is not feasible. He also issued a proclamation which amends his Executive Order GA-28.

The proclamation amends GA-28 to prohibit outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people without approval from the City’s mayor (or the County Judge for unincorporated areas.) It also prohibits indoor gatherings of more than 10 people, and requires individuals practice social distancing from others not a part of their group. These amendments are also effective at 12:01 p.m. tomorrow.

Today’s executive order requires the wearing of a mask which covers the mouth and nose when in any commercial entity, other building or open space open to the public, and in outdoor spaces when within six feet of any other individual that does not reside in the same household. This includes when traveling in a vehicle with any individual that doesn’t reside in your household.

Exceptions to the mask requirement include:

• Individuals with a medical condition or disability that prevents the wearing of a mask
• While consuming food or drink or while seated to consume food or drink in a restaurant (the mask is required at all other times in restaurants when six feet of distancing isn’t feasible).
• While exercising outdoors if you are not within six feet of any other individual that does not reside in your household.
• While traveling alone in a vehicle or with members of your household.
• While obtaining any service that requires security surveillance (i.e. banking) or obtaining a personal care service which involves the face, but the exception applies only when necessary for those activities.
• While actively involved in the voting process (this includes voters, those assisting a voter, poll watchers, and elections staff).
• While in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water.
• While taking part in any religious worship.
• While giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience.

Under GA-29, protests or demonstrations with 10 or more individuals that aren’t practicing social distancing are not exempt under any of the exceptions above.