A municipal worker disinfects parking meters in El Paso, Texas, last October.PAUL RATJE / AFP
The Governor of Texas, Republican Greg Abbott, believes that it is time to open the establishments to 100% and to end the "imposition" of the use of the mask and has announced that the State will reopen all businesses and businesses with access and Capacity limited by the coronavirus and will decree the end of the mandatory mask.
“Too many Texans have been marginalized in their job opportunities;
too many small business owners have had a hard time paying their bills.
This must end ”, said the governor on Tuesday at a press conference.
"Now is the time to open Texas 100%."
The liberalization will take effect next Wednesday, March 10.
“I just announced that Texas will be 100% OPEN.
EVERYTHING, ”Abbott later tweeted, using the exclamatory capitals to underscore the end of the restrictions.
To this end, the governor has ignored the warnings of the federal health authorities to the States not to lift the limitations, given that progress in the fight against the coronavirus has shown signs of stagnation in the last week, despite the increase in the rate of vaccination.
Abbott is confident that by next week about seven million people will have been vaccinated across the state, which has averaged 5,000 cases a day in the past seven days.
Shortly after Abbott's announcement, the governor of the State of Mississippi, also Republican Tate Reeves, communicated the same measures.
“The number of people admitted to hospitals and the number of new cases have plummeted rapidly and vaccination is progressing at a good pace.
The time has come! ”Reeves announced on Twitter.
The announcements from Texas and Mississippi have coincided with the declaration of President Joe Biden, assuring that the United States will have enough vaccines by the end of May.
Texas, the second most populous state in the United States, with 30 million inhabitants, is the third, behind California and New York, in incidence of the coronavirus, with more than 40,000 deaths, hence the governor's decision has been considered a mistake by public health experts and Texas Democratic politicians, who have called it dangerous.
“Let's be clear, the covid has not suddenly disappeared.
It exists in Texas and the United States and across the globe, ”Abbott acknowledged.
Hence, he has stressed that the judicial authorities can take measures to stop a hypothetical rebound in the pandemic if hospital occupancy exceeds 15% in some counties, without the judges being able to impose sanctions for breaching the restrictions.
Texas thus joins 12 other states, of the 50 that make up the country, in lifting the mandate of the mask or that never came to impose it, such as Florida or Arizona.
In Texas, the mandatory use of a mask had been in place for eight months.
"People and businesses do not need the State to tell them how to behave," said Abbott to underline that the mandates in force since the peak of the pandemic are no longer necessary due to a sum of factors: advanced treatments available for coronavirus patients, sufficient diagnostic tests and the adequate rate of vaccination, which has already reached 5.7 million Texans.
However, the politician asked for personal responsibility and to follow medical recommendations.
Abbott, which has governed Texas since 2015, has indicated that all those companies and businesses that want to continue to comply with current restrictions will be able to do so.
The United States is the country hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis, with more than 28.7 million infections and close to 550,900 deaths, according to the John Hopkins University count.