Updated: March 10
Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is removing occupancy restrictions and ending the statewide mandate requiring people wear masks in public on March 10.
While some business owners see the governor's stance as a signal things are beginning to return to normal, others are continuing to follow the guidance of medical experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who say that wearing masks is still a necessary component in the fight against the ongoing spread of COVID-19.
The governor's order (GA-34) says that no jurisdiction can force people to wear masks beyond March 10, but that businesses can run their operations as they see fit -- meaning any business can require workers or customers to wear masks upon entering.
It's important to remember, also, that there is still a federal mask mandate that requires masks to be worn while inside Federal buildings and while on Federal lands, but while also on public transportation, including buses, subways, ride-shares and airplanes.
Below is a list of many retailers in North Texas who have announced their plans regarding masking -- if it's required, encouraged or not required. This list will be updated as new statements are received from businesses around the Metroplex. To see how local schools and colleges are responding, click here.
American Airlines Center
We are aware of Gov. Abbott's latest executive orders to reopen Texas. While we appreciate the eagerness to reopen the state as COVID-19 related numbers are declining, our arena policies will remain the same. American Airlines Center's current reduced capacities, social distancing and mask mandates will continue to be enforced at all Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars games as well as all other events until further notice. Our full list of Fan Safety Guidelines can be found here.
Billy Bob's Texas
"After the recent announcements from Gov. Abbott and Judge Whitley removing the statewide mask mandate and capacity restrictions, Billy Bob's Texas will no longer require guests to wear masks upon entry. However, we take the health and well-being of our community very seriously. Our guests, entertainers and staff are and will always be our number one priority. Therefore, masks are still highly recommended. We will continue to operate at a limited capacity and keep other safety protocols in place, such as additional hand sanitizing stations and temperature checks for guests, entertainers and staff. We will continue to monitor the federal, state and local guidelines and adjust accordingly in the days and weeks ahead. We greatly appreciate your understanding and support during these times.
Carter BloodCare will continue to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and advice of medical experts, by requiring masks at its blood drives and donation center locations. Carter BloodCare recognizes that while the COVID-19 pandemic might be waning, fewer than 10% of Texans are fully vaccinated. Furthermore, there is concern about new variants and the science is not clear if they will emerge as causes of fresh surges of infection.
“We must continue to be vigilant. Wearing a mask and requiring donors to do the same is part of our vigilance,” said Dr. Merlyn Sayers, the blood program’s president and chief executive officer. “We are indebted to all of our blood donors who support our continuing drive to achieve our mission, despite the obstacles that arise.”
Catholic Diocese of Dallas
Bishop Edward Burns released a statement Friday saying he's asking priests to continue to observe current protocols, but also called on the faithful to continue to wear masks out of charity and concern for those around them. Burns wrote, "After consultation with priest representatives, health experts and a review of the most current COVID statistics, at this time I have asked our pastors to continue to adhere to the current protocols we have in place. This includes the dispensation of the Sunday Mass obligation, social distancing and modest church capacity limits. We also expect the Catholic faithful in the Diocese of Dallas to continue to wear masks out of charity and concern for all those around them. I plan to regularly revisit this question as this issue develops, always with an eye on medical statistics, hope for the future and the needs of the faithful in view."
Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth
A pastoral letter written by Bishop Michael Olson to all priests, deacons, seminarians, religious men and women and faithful laity of the Diocese of Fort Worth indicated his support for continuing the responsible practice of wearing masks. In his letter, Olson wrote, "Our protocols, including the wearing of masks, the employment of safe physical distancing, the reception of Holy Communion only in the hand, and the frequent and regular use of sanitizing and handwashing, have enabled everyone, including the vulnerable, to participate physically in the participation at Mass if they judged it to be prudent to do so. After consultation with my priests, civic officials, members of the laity, and professionals in the fields of medicine and public health I judge it very prudent currently to maintain our protocols that have been in effect since September 25, 2020. It is our Christian responsibility to maintain our concern for others especially those most vulnerable so that we attend Mass safely and contribute to the common good of our parishes and the larger community of our towns, counties, and state."
Members and guests must wear a face mask that covers their mouth and nose at all times. Individuals who are unable to wear a face mask due to a medical condition must wear a face shield. Children under the age of 2 are exempt. Entry to Costco will be granted only to those wearing a face mask or face shield.
Dallas (City Buildings)
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson on Thursday said masks will still be required at all city-owned buildings and urged Dallas residents to continue COVID-19 safety protocols. Read more here.
Dallas Regional Chamber
Although we are encouraged by recent downward trends in the number of new reported coronavirus cases, declining hospitalization rates and decreased numbers of deaths across the Dallas Region, it is important to remember that COVID-19 is still with us and more than 80% of our community has not received a vaccination shot. Until a large majority of our community has been safely vaccinated, we believe it is important to remain vigilant in protecting ourselves, one another, and our community from the virus and we strongly encourage people to register for and receive the vaccine as soon as it is available to you. As Governor Abbott said during yesterday's announcement, "to stay safe, Texans should continue following medical advice on preventing COVID."
We are hopeful our way of life will soon be close to what it once was, but we cannot forget that people in our community are still in hospitals, many people remain at risk, and the coronavirus has not yet been eradicated.
A spokesperson for Dickies Arena confirmed to NBC 5 that their policy on wearing masks inside the venue has not changed.
"GM will continue its workplace safety protocols (including mask-wearing) to protect employee health."
"Although there is no longer a statewide mask order, H-E-B believes it is important that masks be worn in public spaces until more Texans and our partners have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. As an essential service provider during the pandemic, H-E-B will still require all our partners and vendors to wear masks while at work. H-E-B is focused on the health and safety of our partners and customers, and we urge all customers to please wear a mask when in our stores."
"Our mask policy has not changed. The Home Depot requires associates and customers to wear masks while in our stores or any Home Depot facility nationwide. We’ll continue to follow CDC guidelines, as we’ve done all along."
"To ensure the continued safety of our customers and associates, The Kroger Family of Companies will continue to require everyone in our stores across the country to wear masks until all our frontline grocery associates can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We also continue to advocate to federal, state and local officials to prioritize frontline grocery workers for the vaccine rollout plan, and we will offer a $100 one-time payment to associates who receive the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine."
Plano (City Buildings)
Masks are not required but they are strongly recommended for all visitors; masks are required for employees.
Six Flags Over Texas
The safety of our guests and team members remains our top priority. At this time, we will continue to follow CDC guidelines and require guests ages two and older and all team members to wear face masks while in the park.
"We require guests to wear masks or face coverings in all of our stores, except for guests with underlying medical conditions and young children. We also require all store team members to wear masks at work and have provided them with reusable and disposable masks. Those who have been vaccinated for coronavirus are still required to wear a mask and follow all social distancing guidelines, in line with current CDC guidance."
To help our guests, we:
• Provide disposable masks at our store entrances to guests who do not have one.
• Remind guests to wear masks with signs, team members at store entrances and overhead audio reminders.
• Guide guests to shop our various no-contact fulfillment options, including Drive Up, Target.com and Shipt, if they don’t want to wear masks.
The use of a face covering should not be seen as a substitute for social distancing. Please continue to observe rules regarding appropriate distancing while on Costco premises. For members who are unable to wear a mask or face covering, Costco has delivery options available on Costco.com. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation
"Toyota intends to maintain its COVID-19 health and safety protocols in its properties at this time, including the use of face coverings."