The State of Texas has prohibited local governments from requiring people to wear masks, with some exceptions. However, private companies remain free to demand masks from customers and employees. The state law prohibits them from requiring proof of vaccination, but cruise lines operating out of Galveston are exempt from this rule. Companies such as Kroger, H-E-B and CVS may require customers to wear a mask if they want to enter their business.
It makes no sense to say that private companies should be free to demand masks, while being prohibited from requesting proof of vaccination. The State of Virginia and the Department of Labor and Industry will not allow or tolerate unlawful discrimination based on whether or not to wear masks. An employer can verify that voluntary use of personal protective equipment meets all regulatory requirements for health and safety in the workplace. Masks are no longer required for unvaccinated individuals in public settings and closed businesses, but all people, regardless of vaccination status, are strongly encouraged to wear masks in closed public settings. The requirement to wear a mask in indoor public places has been eliminated for most venues and businesses. A private company cannot prohibit its employees from wearing masks unless other legal requirements require the removal of masks or the use of masks pose a danger to employees or the public.
Masks are recommended for individuals according to CDC guidelines, and are still needed in specific settings (transportation, healthcare, etc.).The University of Texas at San Antonio announced Wednesday that it will change most of its classes online for the first three weeks of the semester, the largest university in the state to largely reverse the course of its plan to fully reopen in person as COVID-19 cases soar across Texas. The University of Texas at Austin also said that the recent mask order in Austin does not apply to the campus since it is state-owned. The orders allow Harris County to enforce a health order released Thursday that requires the use of masks in schools and child care centers. In recent days, officials from Dallas County, San Antonio and Bexar County have issued mask mandates for residents, and major school districts across the state have announced their own mask requirements. However, Governor Greg Abbott has stressed that vaccines “would always remain voluntary, never forced in the state of Texas”.