Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) on Tuesday laid out plans to end statewide coronavirus restrictions starting next week.
In a highly anticipated announcement, Abbott said it was time to end the lockdown orders affecting businesses put into place last year.
“Businesses don’t need the state to tell them how to operate,” Abbott said.
“Too many Texans have been sidelined from employment opportunities,” Abbott said from inside Montelongo’s Mexican Restaurant in Lubbock. “Too many small business owners have struggled to pay their bills. This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100%.”
Additionally, Gov. Abbott said he would also rescind a statewide mask mandate which went into effect last July.
“Effective next Wednesday, all businesses of any type are allowed to open 100 percent. That includes any type of entity in Texas,” the governor stated.
“Also, I am ending the statewide mask mandate,” Abbott added.
The announcement follows comments from the governor last week in Corpus Christi where he hinted at possibly lifting the mandate “pretty soon.”
On Tuesday, Austin Mayor Steve Adler (D) begged Gov. Abbott not to lift the mandatory mask order, claiming, “Wearing masks keeps our businesses and schools safely open, decreases community spread of the virus and saves lives.”
Abbott’s comments coincide with the 185th anniversary of Texas Independence Day.