Texas has dropped all Covid-19 related restrictions including capacity limits, social distancing and the use of masks.
“It is now time to open Texas 100 percent,” Gov. Greg Abbott said. “Covid has not suddenly disappeared,” but state mandates are no longer needed.
Here is everything travelers need to know about the lifting of restrictions in Texas and how it could affect your trip.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that on March 10, 2021 all Covid-19 related restrictions in the states will be ended. This will allow all businesses to operate at full capacity and people will not be required to wear masks indoors or outdoors.
Sporting events, concerts, conventions and other large gatherings will be permitted to operate at 100% capacity and masks will not be required confirmed a spokesperson for the Governor.
“All businesses of any type are allowed to open 100%,” Abbot said. “People and businesses don’t need the state telling them how to operate” any longer.
Infection Rate Is Still High in Texas
Travelers headed to Texas need to be aware that Covid-19 infection rates are still high in the State and over 200 people are dying per day from the disease. While vaccination programs are now underway as of the weekend only 7% of Texans have been vaccinated for Covid-19.
With the lack of masks and capacity limits in Texas, travelers may feel a false sense of safety while in the State. All travelers should still follow recommendations set out by CDC including the use of masks, avoiding large crowds and proper social distancing.
Texas has had 2.6 million cases of Covid-19 thus far which is more than the total number of cases in countries such as Germany, Colombia or Mexico.
Why Has Texas Dropped Covid-19 Restrictions?
According to the Texas Governor, the economic cost of closing or reducing capacity for businesses can’t go on any longer.
“Too many Texans have been sidelined from employment opportunities,” Abbott said. “Too many small business owners have struggled to pay their bills. This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100%.”
The Governor added that Texans has also “mastered the daily habits to avoid getting Covid.”
Mississippi Drops Covid-19 Restrictions
Mississippi Tate Reeves has announced that the state will also drop the mask mandate and not restrict businesses any longer.
“Businesses will be allowed to make their own policies.” Reeves said. “The Governor’s officer is getting out of the business of telling people what they can and can’t do.
South Dakota Never Mandated Any Covid-19 Restrictions
While some states are now lifting restrictions, the state of South Dakota never had any in the first place. It was the only state in the U.S. to not close any businesses, enact a ‘shelter in place’ or require the use of face masks.
South Dakota ended up with the second highest number of cases per 100,000 residents in the country during the course of the pandemic.
State By State Travel Restrictions
Travelers in the U.S. need to be aware that restrictions from state to state vary greatly. Some states including California and New York have quarantines in places while others including Texas, Mississippi and South Dakota have no Covid-19 prevention measures in place at all. See all the latest state by state travel restrictions.
Bottom Line For Travelers To The United States
Do you homework before traveling within or to the United States. Each state has different laws, rules and regulations regarding Covid-19. Go to where you feel safe and respect the laws and culture of your destination. Just because their may not be a mandate to wear a mask, doesn’t mean you can’t.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories