The governor of Texas in the United States lifted most of the state’s coronavirus pandemic restrictions on Tuesday, allowing businesses to reopen at full capacity as of next week and telling residents that masks were no longer required.
The move by Republican Governor Greg Abbott marks the furthest any US state has gone so far to roll back harsh restrictions on businesses and residents imposed by political leaders in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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“It is now time to open Texas 100 percent,” Abbott announced at an afternoon news briefing.
Abbott’s order comes as COVID-19 infections have plummeted in recent weeks across much of the world, including in the US.
I just announced Texas is OPEN 100%.
I also ended the statewide mask mandate.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 2, 2021
According to a Reuters news agency tally, roughly 68,240 new cases have been reported on average each day this week, or 27 percent of the peak daily average reported on January 7.
The US has recorded 28,681,793 infections and 513,721 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began in early 2020.