World News

Texas Governor Makes Face Masks Compulsory in Public

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Texas Governor Abbott has issued a statewide mask order. Beginning the day before Independence Day at noon, the government will require Texans to wear masks or “face coverings” when out in public in all counties with 20 or more confirmed COVID-19 cases, when it’s not possible to remain six feet apart. A warning will be issued the first time a citizen doesn’t wear a mask in public, then a $250 fine will be issued the second time. Abbott also said, “No one can ever be put in jail for violating this safe practice.”

The governor has also issued an order limiting public gatherings to 10 people, effectively canceling Independence Day celebrations.

Back in May, four justices on the Texas Supreme Court reminded Texans that the “Constitution is not suspended when the government declares a state of disaster.” The message from the justices went on to say, “burdens on constitutional liberties may not survive judicial scrutiny.” There’s no word yet from the justices on the legality of Abbott’s latest executive orders.

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Photo: @vjgsa221 via Twenty20

The orders come after a surge in COVID-19 cases across Texas, though deaths have declined from the heights of previous months. Many businesses in the Lone Star are filing for bankruptcy, and bar owners have filed a lawsuit against the Texas governor over his previous executive order shutting down bars.

What do you think of the executive order on masks? Is it a necessary safety measure, or an example of the government violating constitutional rights? Will you wear a mask in public, or take the $250 fine in protest? We want to hear what Texans think!