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11579 views   |   12   |   Last updated on Oct 17, 2023    COVID-19 Masks

There are no current laws that prohibit the wearing of masks in public. Texas had a law against wearing masks or disguises in public at one time, but this law was repealed. A new law prohibits state and local governments from requiring masks, but the law does not prohibit wearing masks outright.

COVID-19 mask laws

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a series of executive orders on masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. A statewide mask mandate was in place in the earlier stages of the pandemic but expired in March 2021. 

In 2023, the Texas Legislature passed a law prohibiting state and local COVID-19 "mask mandates." This law is in Section 81B.002 of the Texas Health & Safety Code.

More information about these laws is on the Mask Laws page of the COVID-19 & Texas Law guide.

Historical laws on masks & disguises

Texas passed an anti-mask law in 1925 in response to a rise in activity from the Ku Klux Klan, whose members are known for wearing masks and hoods. This law was codified as Article 454a-g of the Texas Penal Code.

Some portions of Texas's anti-mask law were challenged in the courts. In 1929, at least one article was ruled to be in violation of the Texas Constitution.

Despite this and other legal challenges, portions of the law were still used to prosecute Texans for many years to come. The anti-mask law was repealed in 1974 during the re-codification of the Texas Penal Code.

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