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When the Texas mask mandate is lifted, where will masks still be required in Houston?

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced he is lifting the statewide mask mandate. However, there are federal orders that still require masks to be worn in certain places.

HOUSTON — On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced he is lifting statewide coronavirus restrictions and ending the Texas mask mandate. Effective Wednesday, March 10, all businesses are allowed to reopen 100% and Texans will no longer be required by law to wear masks in public spaces.

RELATED: Gov. Abbott announces end to statewide mask mandate, allows Texas businesses to open at 100%

However, there are several orders from both President Joe Biden and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that require that masks still be worn in certain places.

To clear up confusion, KHOU broke down the masking guidance for some major public spaces.

Federal buildings

On Jan. 20, President Joe Biden issued an executive order requiring that masks be worn by anyone present at any federal building or federal lands.

"To protect the Federal workforce and individuals interacting with the Federal workforce, and to ensure the continuity of Government services and activities, on-duty or on-site Federal employees, on-site Federal contractors, and other individuals in Federal buildings and on Federal lands should all wear masks, maintain physical distance, and adhere to other public health measures, as provided in CDC guidelines," the order says in part.

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 7902(c) of title 5, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows: Section 1. Policy.

Public transportation

On Jan. 29, the CDC issued an order requiring masks to be worn by travelers and operators on public transportation including airplanes, subways, buses and ride-shares.

"Conveyance operators must also require all persons on board to wear masks when boarding, disembarking and for the duration of travel," the CDC said. "Operators of transportation hubs must require all persons to wear a mask when entering or on the premise of a transportation hub."

Houston METRO requires all riders to wear masks.

"Federal law now requires anyone on the METRO system to wear a face mask. This includes rail stations, transit centers and bus stops. Plastic face shields are not considered masks. Exemptions are available for children under the age of two, a person with a disability who cannot wear a mask or wear one safely because of a disability defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act," it reads on the METRO website. "Violators could be denied service and/or face federal penalties."

Masks are also required at Bush Intercontinental and Hobby airports.

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows: Section 1. Policy. Science-based public health measures are critical to preventing the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by travelers within the United States and those who enter the country from...

City of Houston facilities

Masks are still required in all city facilities or venues, like the George R. Brown Convention Center, city libraries and courthouses. 


On Wednesday, the TEA said it has updated its Public Health Guidance to say a public school system’s current practices on masks may continue unchanged. Local school boards will have full authority to determine their local mask policy. The TEA has also made updates related to surface cleaning requirements.

Check what local districts are doing by clicking here.

RELATED: List: Here's what Houston-area school districts are doing with statewide mask order lifted


"As a community-based organization focused on the health and well-being of all, our top priority is ensuring the safety of our staff, our members and the communities we serve.

While statewide policies are changing this week, mask protocols for our YMCA will remain the same.

Masks are required for individuals age 10+ in common areas, locker rooms, hallways and when an individual is not engaged in indoor exercise as well as for youth ages 10+ in Child Watch, Y Learning Centers and Day/Holiday Camp programs. Masks will not be required while a member is actively engaged in exercise.

Masks will not be required when members or participants are on an outdoor pool deck or outdoor sport fields."

Businesses and service providers

The executive order announced Tuesday rescinds most of the governor's earlier executive orders related to COVID-19. It says that effective Wednesday, March 10, all businesses may open to 100% capacity and the statewide mask mandate will no longer be enforced.

However, businesses may still limit capacity or implement additional safety protocols – including requiring masks – at their own discretion. Businesses also reserve the right to refuse service to any patrons who do not follow stated protocols.

Several Houston businesses have already said they intend to keep their mask requirements.

RELATED: Here are the mask policies for Houston-area grocery stores as the Texas mask mandate comes to an end

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