In an executive order issued Thursday, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor will require face masks to be worn outdoors at popular Super Bowl areas beyond Raymond James Stadium.
The executive order, which will be in effect starting today and go through Feb. 13, calls for masks to be worn in the city’s “Entertainment Districts,” which include the South Howard Commercial Overlay District, Ybor City Historic District, the Central Business District, and the Channel District. It also covers ““Event Zones,” like Raymond James, all of University of Tampa, Armature Works and Tampa’s Riverwalk area .
You can see a full map of the districts here.
“We are incredibly excited to host a fun and safe Super Bowl here in Tampa—but we need everyone to do their part. We want fans to feel confident knowing that when they come out to celebrate Super Bowl LV, they can do so safely in a city that takes this pandemic seriously,” said Castor in a statement. “In football terms, it’s simple—masks are the right defense. Don’t let COVID-19 intercept your ability to make unforgettable memories or keep your loved ones safe. We are grateful to the NFL and the Host Committee for being amazing partners and going above and beyond to implement strict COVID-19 safety precautions. Now, we need everyone to take personal responsibility to keep themselves, others fans and our Tampa Bay community safe.”
While violators will face a “civil infraction,” which carries up to a $500 fine, Castor’s announcement did not specify how the executive order will be enforced. In a previous press conference, Castor said the city's strategy was to encourage “personal responsibility.”
“We’re not looking at this from an enforcement viewpoint, but from an encouragement viewpoint,” she added.
When contacted this week about whether or not code enforcement would be out at local bars hosting Super Bowl watch parties, a spokesperson for the city said the city was focused on "education."
Of course, there are also exceptions to the mask order, including:
Children under 5 years of age
- Persons (including their family members or companions) when outdoors at their personal residence, provided they comply with CDC guidance
- Persons working in a business or profession where use of a face covering would prevent them from performing the duties of the business or profession
- Persons for whom a face covering would cause impairment due to an existing health condition
- A person communicating with a hearing-impaired individual who needs to see that person's mouth in order to communicate.
Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.