Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021
“That must have an end”
State of Texas removes mask requirements
In the US, the number of new infections is falling. However, experts warn that the corona requirements should be lifted prematurely. But Texas ignores all concerns. The time for restrictions is over, announced Governor Abbott. Mississippi also wants to loosen up.
The US state of Texas is lifting the mask requirement and the capacity limits for restaurants and other companies introduced due to the pandemic. “Now is the time to open Texas 100 percent,” Republican Governor Greg Abbott said Tuesday. The time for restrictions on the economy is over in view of the ongoing vaccination campaign. “This has to come to an end,” said Abbott. The lifting of the mask requirement and the capacity limits will apply from Wednesday.
The approximately 29 million inhabitants of the southern state are called upon to adhere to the medical advice to contain the corona pandemic. But it no longer needs government regulations, said Abbott. If, contrary to expectations, the utilization of hospitals in a district should rise sharply, the region could impose new restrictions. However, no penalties should be imposed for violations of, for example, a possible local mask requirement, said Abbott.
The head of the US health authority CDC had only warned on Monday not to prematurely lift the corona requirements. Now is not the time for that, she warned. The renowned corona expert Ashish Jha from Brown University in Providence commented on Twitter that with the lifting of the corona requirements, Governor Abbott was “taking a great risk to people’s lives”.
In addition to Abbott, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves also said that as of Wednesday, all orders for the wearing of masks and capacity limits for restaurants and companies would be ended. “It’s time,” wrote the Republican on Twitter. Around three million people live in the state.
The number of new infections in the USA has fallen sharply since the beginning of the year – from over 200,000 per day to an average of over 60,000. However, experts warn that there could be another increase due to the new variants of the virus. In Texas, 5.7 million doses of vaccine have already been administered, according to Abbott. The number of vaccinations will now continue to increase by about a million a week, he promised.
When the requirements were lifted, Abbott relied on estimates of the number of unreported infections that had already been overcome. So far, there have been 2.5 million confirmed infections in Texas. In reality, around ten million people could already have had an infection, he speculated.