The Texas governor reacts to Senators Romney and Portman questioning Mayorkas on the border crisis.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Tuesday making it illegal for schools and governmental entities to implement mask mandates.

The new order was announced in a press release on Tuesday and prevents school districts as well as local and county governments, public officials and public health authorities from requiring or mandating Texas citizens to wear a face mask.

“The Lone Star State continues to defeat COVID-19 through the use of widely-available vaccines, antibody therapeutic drugs, and safe practices utilized by Texans in our communities,” Abbott said.

Abbott said that Texans, not the government, “should decide their best health practices” and said that “public school districts or government entities” will be barred from implementing a mask mandate.

“We can continue to mitigate COVID-19 while defending Texans’ liberty to choose whether or not they mask up,” the governor added.

The order allows public schools in Texas to continue requiring masks for students until June 4, after the school year ends. After June 4, students, faculty, parents or school visitors will be required to wear facial coverings.

Additionally, starting May 21, any local governments or officials that try to impose a mask mandate or “a limitation inconsistent or conflicting” with Abbott’s new executive order will face a $1,000 fine.

Government owned or operated hospitals, state-supported living centers, and criminal justice facilities will be exempt from the unmasking order.

The Texas Republican issued the order after the Lone Star State recorded zero new COVID-19 deaths on Sunday, months after President Biden criticized Texas’ reopening months ago as “Neanderthal thinking.”

Sunday also marked the lowest number of new cases in 13 months for the Lone Star State and the lowest number of hospitalizations in 11 months.

This content was originally published here.

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