Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is feeling very optimistic that COVID-19 will soon be a thing of the past. The Republican politician announced Tuesday that the statewide mask mandate and capacity restrictions will end on March 10.

“Too many Texans have been sidelined from employment opportunities. Too many small business owners have struggled to pay their bills. This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100%,” Abbott said during a press conference in Lubbock. “Every business that wants to open should be open."

As of Tuesday, 5.7 million Texans have been vaccinated, Fox 4 reports, and Abbott pointed out that number will be about 7 million by next Wednesday. Texas has an estimated 29.8 million residents.

“Texans have mastered the habits to keep from getting COVID,” he claimed, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Experts aren’t backing the conservative politician. Though a third vaccine has been approved, the majority of Americans have not received the COVID-19 inoculation yet. Variants are also a concern as COVID-19 starts to mutate, and scientists are still researching if the vaccinations can fight the different strains. The Houston Chronicle reports that Houston became the first city in the U.S. to record all known variants of the virus this week.

Stephen Love, President and CEO of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, made his disagreement clear. “Governor Abbott’s decision to remove the mask mandate in Texas is very unfortunate,” Love said.

Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez echoed that concern, noting that his county only fell below the hospitalization threshold last week.

The Texas Civil Rights Project didn’t support the measure either.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommend wearing a mask in public. The CDC suggests either a layered cloth mask or using a fitted medical mask underneath a cloth mask.

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