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TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa Mayor Jane Castor issued an executive order Thursday mandating face masks be worn outdoors in high-traffic areas surrounding Super Bowl LV activities in the coming weeks to help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The mandate will remain in effect until Feb. 13 and includes downtown, the Riverwalk, Armature Works and Ybor City until Feb. 13, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

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“We want fans to feel confident knowing that when they come out to celebrate Super Bowl LV, (that) they can do so safely in a city that takes this pandemic seriously,” Castor said, invoking football terminology to drive the point home.

“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, other fans and our Tampa Bay community safe,” she added.

The popular SoHO bar district, Channel District and neighborhoods surrounding Raymond James Stadium also fall within the boundaries of Castor’s order, the Times reported.

According to WFTS, exceptions to Castor’s executive order include:

• 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; or

• A person communicating with a hearing-impaired individual who needs to see that person’s mouth in order to communicate.

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