AUSTIN, Texas: Texas schools will end all face mask requirements for students, following an order issued by Governor Greg Abbott on May 18.
The Texas order is a rebuke of current COVID-19 guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Abbott’s executive order also puts an end to the use of mandatory face masks by local government agencies.
This follows a similar move by Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida.
“We can continue to mitigate COVID-19 while defending Texans’ liberty to choose whether or not they mask up,” Abbott said.
Texas lifted its mask requirements 10 weeks ago, as the Covid crisis began to lessen.
Tuesday’s order saw Abbott seeking to end face mask requirements among other local Texas governments, such as towns and cities.
The CDC urges schools to require face masks for the remainder of the 2021 school year.
Throughout the United States, Covid restrictions are being relaxed by individual states.
The action in Texas comes as states across the country have moved to end or relax restrictions, as infections and hospitalizations continue to decrease.
Also, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York will drop face mask requirements in most public spaces. However, California Governor Gavin Newsom said face mask requirements would remain in place for another month.
Of note, most governors who eliminated face mask requirements have allowed local governments, school districts and businesses to set their own face mask and social distancing policies.
The Texas order calls upon school districts to comply by June 4, stating “no student, teacher, parent or other staff member or visitor can be required to wear a mask while on campus.”
Meanwhile, a poll conducted for Reuters in recent days shows more than half of Americans said they were reluctant to quickly return to normal pre-pandemic behavior.
In fact, only 17 percent of those surveyed said they would quickly return to their previous routines.