Places in Houston where you do and don't have to wear masks now that mandate is over

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Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Mask mandate ends, but some businesses will keep it
The statewide mask mandate is over. But businesses can still require you to wear a mask. Here's what we know.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Texas' mask mandate ended at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, and all businesses are now allowed to open at 100% capacity.

This comes after Gov. Greg Abbott announced last week that he would end the order requiring masks and limiting capacity at businesses.

"Removing statewide mandates does not end personal responsibility," said Abbott. "It's just that now, state mandates are no longer needed."

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

Abbott's decision comes as governors across the U.S. have been easing coronavirus restrictions, despite warnings from health experts that the pandemic is far from over.

His 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.

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

While some people are ready to go out about their business without a mask, others are hesitant. But what about the places you go to? Here's a list of places around the Houston area that are requiring customers to wear masks and some that are not.


George Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby airports remain under a federal mask mandate. Passengers, two years and older, must wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth.

Cities and counties

In Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner confirmed that municipal buildings will require masks.

Fort Bend County Judge KP George issued an order March 9 requiring people to continue wearing masks in county buildings and facilities.

Restaurants and bars

Our ABC13 partners at CultureMap are maintaining a list, divided by part of town, of which restaurants and bars say they will maintain COVID-19 protocols after the state mandates lift.


  • H-E-B: While statewide policy has changed, our store protocol has not. Mask use at our stores will remain. Our signs requiring mask use will remain posted at entrances and we will continue to make announcements in store. We will continue to expect shoppers to wear masks while in our stores. Additionally, we will still require all our Partners and vendors to wear masks while at work. H-E-B has always been a strong proponent and advocate of mask use even before mandates and orders were passed.
  • Kroger: Although the statewide mask mandate has been lifted in Texas, to ensure the safety of our customers and associates, Kroger will continue to follow health and safety guidelines recommended by the CDC by requiring all associates in our stores to wear a mask. We encourage all customers visiting our stores to continue to wear a mask to protect themselves, those around them, and our associates. We remind those who can't wear masks that we offer low touch or no touch pickup and delivery services.

What will happen if you go to H-E-B without a mask?

With the mask mandate being lifted next week, some customers may be worried about what their favorites stores will do. H-E-B President Scott McClelland explained to ABC13 what you can expected after the mask mandate is lifted on Wednesday, March 10.


  • Houston's First Baptist Church: Given the recency of the announcement, church leaders have not made decisions yet on how or if our approach will change on March 10. Those conversations are happening currently, and the topic will be discussed in a regularly scheduled monthly leadership meeting early next week. As we look at the situation, we will continue to prayerfully strive for making wise decisions based on the criteria we've been using since the pandemic began. We will review the counsel of officials (elected, health, etc.), consider the comfort level of our church family, and - ultimately - seek the leadership of the Lord in all that we do.
  • Lakewood Church: We are grateful to be open and gathering in person safely. Lakewood Church will continue to request that attendees wear masks and practice social distancing. Capacity has not been an issue. However, we will monitor it as we expect attendance to increase. We will continue to follow recommended health and safety guidelines.

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


  • Memorial Hermann: With respect to Gov. Abbott's executive Memorial Hermann shared it had no intentions of changing its policies and practices related to COVID-19. We will still require masks for everyone who enters our facilities, as we believe this practice is in the best interest of our frontline workers, our patients and our community-all those we are dedicated to, and obligated to, protect. Our position is based on hard data and science. It aligns with recommendations from the CDC
  • Texas Children's Hospital: TCH said it will continue to require patients, families, visitors, employees and medical staff at all of its facilities to wear hospital-issued masks throughout the duration of their visit. "Texas Children's will maintain our inherent organizational responsibility and commitment to keep our patients, families and employees safe by maintaining all existing COVID-19 safety protocols including masking and social distance requirements."
  • Houston Methodist: The hospital's president and CEO shared that "even if it is not mandated, as a health care professional I urge all Texans to keep wearing our masks until enough of our community is vaccinated that we approach herd immunity."


  • 24-Hour Fitness: The gym says masks will be encouraged but not required. It adds that it recognizes people may have different comfort levels, so in addition to offering mask-free areas, all 24-Hour Fitness clubs will also open mask required "club within club" zones equipped with cardio and strength equipment. The zones will be set up in the basketball courts or other designated areas. Fitness clubs will open to 100% capacity.
  • LifeTime: Team Members will continue to wear masks at all times, and have regular screenings and temperature checks. Members who choose to wear a mask are most welcome to do so for any or all aspects of his/her visits. For those not comfortable with this change, we're pleased to provide our Life Time Digital offering that allows access to livestream classes, virtual personal training and other opportunities to stay connected.

The video above is from a previous story.