Super Bowl is over, but Tampa’s outdoor mask mandate is still here

The Super Bowl LV is over in Tampa, but the city’s expanded face-covering requirement – which includes popular outdoor destinations -- remains in effect through Saturday, Feb. 13.

However, despite the mask mandate, many maskless fans were seen gathering in the streets in parts of Tampa following the Bucs historic win.

Mayor Jane Castor issued the executive order on Jan. 28, which impacts certain areas of Tampa where large crowds were anticipated during Super Bowl events.

The temporary order will be in effect until Feb. 13.

READ: Buccaneers fans flood Tampa streets to celebrate historic home game Super Bowl win

This includes:

  • The area around Raymond James Stadium
  • Tampa Riverwalk
  • Ybor City Historic District
  • South Howard Commercial Overlay District
  • Central Business District
  • Channel District

The expanded mask order during the Super Bowl in Tampa includes the areas around the NFL Super Bowl Experience and Raymond James Stadium. The city called these the "event zones" in the executive order.

Dr. Thomas Unnmasch, a USF Health professor, said at the time he believed it was a necessary safety measure. While people are safer outdoors, catching COVID-19 is still possible, and compared it to sitting near a smoker.

"If you can still smell the smoke they’re exhaling and if they were exhaling the virus, you could still inhale the virus they’re exhaling," he explained.

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

On New Year’s Eve, images and video shared on social media showed crowds of people in Ybor City without masks. It led the city to send code enforcement officials to crack down on maskless gatherings. 

During the NFC Championship game, large and mostly unmasked crowds gathered outside bars in Tampa as the Bucs secured a trip to the Super Bowl.
Less than a week later, Castor took action with the executive order, which remains in effect nearly a week after the Super Bowl ends.

The order says those who are not wearing a mask can be cited with a "nominal civil infraction" that carries a penalty up to a $500 fine.

The executive order can be viewed below: