On April 16th, Mayor Ron Nirenberg and County Judge Nelson Wolff announced that Bexar County residents must begin wearing masks in public beginning April 20th. the mandate stated that the mask must cover your nose and mouth. And according to ABC13, failure to wear a mask in public spaces could result in a fine of up to $1,000.
However, on April 27th, Governor Abbott announced phase one of his Open Texas plan, stating that select businesses would begin to reopen on Friday May 1st. He said this order would supersede all local orders.
When asked about mandates requiring citizens to wear masks or face a potential fine, Governor Abbott had this to say:
“We strongly recommend that everyone wear a mask. However, it’s not a mandate, and we made it clear, no jurisdiction can impose any type of penalty or fine. Everyone should be encouraged, but by my executive order, it supersedes local orders with regard to any type of fine or penalty for anyone not wearing a mask.”
Following the announcement, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff stated that overall the governor is making right decisions. However, he did not agree with the stance on face masks.
“It’s not going to work if people aren’t wearing face masks,” Judge Wolff said. “You’re going to go to a mall and see several hundred people there and you’re going to be walking around and you’re going to be fairly close to somebody. You don’t have a mask on, you’re going to be putting everyone in danger if you don’t keep 6 feet away.”
City and county officials will meet today for a special meeting to ensure proper local interventions are in place. City Attorney Andy Segovia said that local orders may continue to mandate masks, but local law enforcements will not be able to hand out fines.
Still wearing a mask? Check out our guide on how to keep it clean here.