Tampa issues mask order ahead of Super Bowl

Tampa issues mask order ahead of Super Bowl
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Tampa, Fla., Mayor Jane Castor (D) has issued a mandatory outdoor mask requirement for the city ahead of the Feb. 7 Super Bowl, effective Thursday.

The NFL's annual championship game this year pits the Kansas City Chiefs against the city's home team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tampa's new mask order stipulates that people in downtown Tampa's "Entertainment District" and in the "Event Zone" — areas surrounding the Raymond James Stadium — must be masked while outside. The order, set to be in place until Feb. 13, includes a violation fee of up to $500, according to The Associated Press.

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Certain exceptions apply, including when eating or drinking, being outside at a personal residence and for those under the age of 5.

"We are incredibly excited to host a fun and safe Super Bowl here in Tampa — but we need everyone to do their part," Castor said in a statement, according to the AP.

She added that the mask requirement is being put in place to help visitors feel safe.

"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."

Tampa, Florida's third-largest city, had previously issued a mask order only for indoor settings.