Texas mask mandate is ending, but businesses in San Antonio can still require them

Refusing to comply with a businesses policy could mean a criminal trespassing charge, Bexar County District Attorney says

Bexar County District Attorney says private businesses can still enforce mask policy after Wednesday

SAN ANTONIO – The statewide mask mandate may be ending Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to ditch them completely.

Businesses will still have the right to require employees and customers to wear masks on their premises. Refusing to comply with those policies could leave a customer facing a criminal trespassing charge - a misdemeanor offense punishable with jail time and a fine.

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Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales told reporters on Monday that his office would consider each case on an “individual basis,” and that punishments might be negotiated down - though the judge has final say.

“As far as accepting and prosecuting a case like this, we will, because I want the business community to know that that we support them. I want them to know that if they’re going to put in place policies and rules requiring masks that we are here to to support their efforts,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales believes most people will comply with individual businesses’ requirements. If someone doesn’t comply and refuses to leave, the D.A. said businesses should call police.

The San Antonio Police Department told KSAT in an emailed statement it will respond if someone refuses to leave a business. They’ll give the person a warning and an opportunity to leave the property, and if they refuse, officers “will use their discretion in how to proceed - be it arrest or citation.”

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About the Author

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.

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