Governor Abbott Issues Executive Order GA-29 Relating to the Use of Face Coverings During the COVID-19 Disaster

Governor Issues Order Requiring Facial Coverings

Governor Abbott has issued General Order GA-29, effective at 12:01 pm on July 3, 2020, requiring every person in Texas to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when inside a commercial entity, other building or space open to the public.  Facial coverings must also be worn when in an outdoor public space and it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household.  First-time violators of the order will be given a verbal or written warning and each subsequent violation shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $250 per violation.  Local law enforcement and other local officials, as appropriate, can and should enforce this order.      

Exceptions to the facial covering requirement are listed below:

  • Any person younger than 10 years of age
  • Any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering
  • Any person while the person is consuming food or drink, or is seated at a restaurant to eat or drink
  • Any person while the person is (a) exercising outdoors or engaging in physical activity outdoors, and (b) maintaining a safe distance from other people not in the same household
  • Any person while the person is driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver
  • Any person obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face covering for security surveillance, screening, or a need for specific access to the face, such as while visiting a bank or while obtaining a personal care service involving the face, but only to the extent necessary for the temporary removal
  •  Any person while the person is in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water
  • Any person who is voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher, or actively administering an election, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged
  • Any person who is actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged
  • Any person while the person is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience