Texas Governor Greg Abbott says he's ready to lift the restrictions on businesses that have been in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Speaking in Lubbock Tuesday, Governor Abbott said with vaccination rates going up and with the state having a good supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) he's ready to let businesses operate at full capacity.
"It is now time to open Texas 100%" said Abbott. "Every business that wants to open should be open."
As of Wednesday March 10th, Abbott says he is ending the statewide mask mandate and that all businesses can fully reopen, but added that the removal of the mandate does not remove individual responsibility to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Texas is doing more than ever to save lives and to reduce the spread of COVID,” Abbott said. “We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy. We will continue to grieve for all who have suffered through this pandemic.”
Abbott also says if COVID-19 hospitalizations increase above 15%, county judges may reinstate previous COVID-19 restrictions.
Ahead of the repeal in Texas, Democratic lawmakers urged Abbott to reconsider.
“Texas will experience more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths," state Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, a Democrat from the border city of Laredo, told Abbott in a letter Monday, as reported by the Associated Press.