Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Tuesday (March 2) Texas would be the largest state to end its mask mandate, nearly eight months after it was originally announced to help combat the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, businesses will be able to open to full capacity beginning on March 10.
However, the mandate and other COVID restrictions were loosely enforced throughout the pandemic as cities such as certain businesses in Houston and Dallas flaunted restrictions by holding mass gatherings.
“Removing statewide mandates does not end personal responsibility,” Abbott said inside of a crowded dining room in Lubbock, where many weren’t wearing masks. “It’s just that now state mandates are no longer needed.”
Although Texas’ hospitalizations and deaths have dramatically fallen over the past few weeks, vaccinations have been slow for Texans. According to recent data, only 6 percent of the state has been vaccinated.