Bexar County requires face masks in businesses, despite Abbott’s order that masks can’t be mandatory

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff issued an order Wednesday directing businesses to require employees and customers to wear face masks when social distancing is not possible.

Wolff's order comes Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order on June 3 banning local governments from imposing fines or criminal penalties on people who don't wear masks in public.

Wolff's order states that, through the end of the month, businesses in Bexar County have until Monday to start requiring face masks "where six feet of separation is not feasible" before the business risks facing a fine of up to $1,000.

The order also states that, consistent with Abbott's executive order, "no civil or criminal penalty will be imposed on individuals for failure to wear a face covering."

On Tuesday, nine mayors from Texas' biggest cities wrote a letter to Abbott, urging him to grant them the authority to mandate face masks in their own cities in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office had already warned officials in big cities, including San Antonio, to roll back “unlawful” local emergency orders that featured stricter coronavirus restrictions than those of the state, while hinting of lawsuits if they do not.