Texas businesses reserve the right to keep or drop COVID-19 measures

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Following Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to lift all COVID-19 restrictions, local businesses and restaurants are deciding whether they will drop or keep COVID-19 measures in place.

According to Abbott's executive order announced on Tuesday, starting Wednesday, March 10, all businesses located in counties that do not have high COVID-19 hospitalization numbers will be allowed to open at 100% capacity and will not be bound by COVID-19 restrictions and measures.

SEE ALSO: All Texas COVID-19 mandates lifted effective next Wednesday, Gov. Abbott says

In the executive order, it states it's highly encouraged for people to wear a mask or face covering, but "no jurisdiction may impose a penalty of any kind for failure to wear a face covering."

However, there is an exception. The order states businesses and other establishments are allowed to require staff and customers to follow COVID-19 hygiene and safety measures, including wearing face coverings. Business owners or establishments may also reserve the right to call legal authorities and require trespassing laws or the removal of a person(s) who does not comply with the establishment's rules.

WATCH: Some businesses say masks will stay on in their stores
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With the COVID-19 restrictions rollback starting soon in Texas, all businesses in can reopen at full capacity. It's up to them on whether or not you have to wear a mask. ABC13's Steve Campion spoke with business owners about their plans going forward, but he also shares a warning from doctors.



Mike Shine, owner of Frank's Americana Revival, said he will be encouraging customers to wear a mask, but will not be enforcing it. Shine also said the restaurant will be keeping some of the COVID-19 safety measures in place and will require its employees to wear masks.

"I certainly do not want to speak for the governor," Shine said. "I don't know his intent, but I think his message is probably more of he believes it's time for the public and business owners to make their own decision. From our perspective, I don't know if anything really changes."

Arnaldo Richards, owner of Picos Restaurant, said at his establishment masks will be a requirement. He also said social distancing measures will stay in place and they will operate at 75% capacity.

SEE ALSO: Model projections for Texas show a worst-case scenario without mask mandate

"I do believe it should be a personal choice," Richards said. "For us here in my business, we make it a personal choice to make sure that people will wear masks while they are in my establishment. Why? Because I want to protect my employees and I want to protect the people who are still wearing the mask. So, it will be a mandate for us to wear a mask while you are not at the table."

Both Shine and Richards said some businesses might have a difficult time operating at 100%, depending on the size of the business and the type of traffic the establishment receives.

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