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Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff made headlines last week when he ordered the protective measure at a local level, and other municipalities have since followed suit. However, Abbott has declined to issue a statewide order, saying it may not be necessary in rural areas and small towns.
The TRA, which represents restaurant owners statewide, has been vocal about the pandemic's impact on Texas' bars and eating establishments. A statewide mask policy would create more consistency and eliminate confusion for business owners, according to Emily Williams Knight, the group's CEO.
“Where we have a concern is asking businesses, in particular, small businesses that make up most of the restaurant sector, to enforce that,” she told the Texas Standard radio show on Monday.
Williams Knight cited the potential for violence from angry customers as a concern, adding that an order from Abbott would help small businesses with enforcement.
“We had instances where guests and employees encounter one another, and it can be very contentious up to the point of violence," she said. "And so our issue is making sure our front-line employees are protected.”
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