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Houston police: Yes, businesses can enforce masks — if you don't like it, quietly go somewhere else

The police chief noted that business owners still have property rights, despite the governor dropping Texas's statewide mask mandate.

HOUSTON — Some Texans are still wondering if they need to wear a mask in a business since Texas’s governor lifted the statewide mask mandate starting March 10.

When announcing the state’s reopening, the governor left the door open for businesses to still require masks, however.

“If businesses want to limit capacity or implement additional safety protocols, they have the right to do so,” noted Governor Greg Abbott at a Tuesday press conference.

ALSO READ: Businesses prepare for more customer conflicts over masks

LIST:  Houston-area businesses' mask policies after Texas governor's announcement

Some online immediately claimed it would be illegal for a business to kick someone out for not wearing a mask. But this claim is untrue.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo tweeted “private business enjoy property rights and may require folks to wear a mask.”

He warned that those who refuse to comply and don’t leave when asked to do so may be committing the offense of criminal trespass.

In an interview, Acevedo said businesses can call police if they need assistance with a trespasser. He also said those who do not like a business’s mask policy can quietly leave.

In his tweets, the chief also made it clear he does not agree with the state lifting its mask ordinance:

"The mask recision by @GregAbbott_TX , while grossly misguided, will afford Texans an opportunity to see who among us cares enough about their fellow Texans to follow simple steps to protect our fellow Texans from a deadly virus."

Federal mask mandate remains in place as Texas rescinds its COVID restrictions

The White House says it's doing everything it can to expand COVID-19 mandates. That includes a federal mask mandate.

It makes following the rules a bit confusing. So, let's start with the federal mask mandate, which went into effect on Jan. 21.

The White House confirms you must wear a mask while on any federal property, so if you're visiting a national park, pack a mask.

Under federal rules, you have to wear a mask while you're at an airport, on a plane, train, city bus, boat or ferry.

Read more about the federal mask mandate here.

Also watch: Texas mask mandate: CDC responds to Gov. Abbott lifting order

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