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JACKSON, Miss. (AP/WJW) — The governor of Mississippi has said he is getting rid of most mask mandates previously imposed to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. He is also lifting most other restrictions, including limits on seating in restaurants.

Republican Gov. Tate Reeves said he is issuing a new executive order that takes effect at 5 p.m. Wednesday and remains in place until March 31.

This news comes after Texas also announced plans Tuesday to lift its mask mandate as well as restrictions on inside dining (as seen in the video above).

Reeves said the number of people hospitalized because of the virus has decreased in recent weeks, and vaccination numbers are increasing.

Until now, most of Mississippi’s 82 counties had been under a mask mandate for months.

Reeves said he is encouraging other people to wear face coverings but is not requiring it. He is asking people to follow recommendations from the state health officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs.

Dobbs said that it’s still a good idea for people to avoid large, unmasked gatherings.