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Super Bowl LV: Tampa’s mayor issues outdoor face mask order

‘We need everyone to do their part,’ says Jane Castor

James Crump@thejamescrump
Friday 29 January 2021 12:28
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Tampa mayor Jane Castor has issued an executive order mandating the use of face masks at events in the Florida city during the upcoming Super Bowl, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Ms Castor’s order, which she signed on Wednesday, requires face coverings to be worn outdoors in entertainment districts and areas surrounding Raymond James Stadium, where the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs will take place on 7 February.

In a statement the city said the measure has been put in place to help prevent the spread of coronavirus in areas where those who will travel for the Super Bowl are likely to congregate.

Those who are seen not wearing a face covering can be cited with a “nominal civil infraction” and fined up to $500 (£366). There are some exceptions to the order, most notably for children under the age of five.

Speaking about the decision on Wednesday, Ms Castor said: “We are incredibly excited to host a fun and safe Super Bowl here in Tampa, but we need everyone to do their part.

She added: “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.”

The mandate went into effect on 28 January and will stay in place in the Tampa area until 13 February, nearly a week after the event has occurred.

Ms Castor added: “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.”

The NFL announced last week it will allow 22,000 fans to be inside Raymond James Stadium for the event, but will require them all to wear face masks.

It also revealed that 7,500 vaccinated healthcare workers will be among those in the stadium, which has a capacity of 75,000.

The NFL said the health care workers will be recognised with planned tributes during the game and as part of the TV broadcast.

Since the start of the pandemic, Florida has recorded more than 1.69 million coronavirus cases and at least 26,034 deaths, as it has been one of the worst affected states in the US.

However, Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa, has fared better than the state as a whole, recording more than 98,900 Covid-19 cases and at least 1,285 deaths. It is the fifth worst affected county in Florida, despite being the fourth most populous.

According to Johns Hopkins University, there are now more than 25.7 million people who have tested positive for the coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached 433,195.

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