Mask Orders and Requirements are no longer mandated by local governments, with some exceptions. Private companies remain free to demand masks, but state law prohibits them from requiring proof of vaccination. However, cruise lines operating out of Galveston require documentation of vaccinations from passengers, saying they are exempt from that rule. Regarding whether employers can continue to demand masks, the answer is yes.
The Wall Street Journal reported that some of the largest retail, theater, hotel and restaurant chains in the United States operating in Texas announced that they will continue to require the use of masks. Companies such as Kroger, H-E-B and CVS may require customers to wear a mask if they want to enter their business. Private companies are allowed to demand masks from customers and employees, but most state and local government entities can no longer do so. Business owners will be able to decide for themselves if they are going to serve customers who do not wear masks.
So how come cruise lines operating in Texas still require documented vaccination as a condition of boarding their ships? The law says it does not restrict a company from implementing COVID-19 infection detection and control protocols in accordance with state and federal laws to protect public health. Under the executive order issued by Governor Greg Abbott, companies will be able to require customers to wear masks in their facilities. The Texas Supreme Court seems to be inclined to side with Abbott in this dispute over legal interpretation. It says that any company that violates this provision is not eligible for state contracts, and allows state agencies to enforce that subsection as a condition of obtaining a license, permit, or other state authorization necessary to conduct business in this state.
Following COVID protocols, including wearing masks, has been part of daily life in the pandemic until now.