Hillsborough County scraps curfew, votes down face covering mandate

Exterior of Tampa City Hall

The city of Tampa, and Hillsborough County overall continues to work to keep residents safe. This week, Hillsborough County enacted a curfew from 9pm-5am; however the curfew was scrapped following a vote on April 16. Officials hoped this would deter gatherings. Over Easter weekend the local police department had received hundreds of reports of group gatherings, and other instances of citizens not adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Going to the grocery store, pharmacy, or to/from another essential activity, was still allowed during curfew hours.

You can see details of the full order online.

During an April 16 meeting officials also discussed a potential face covering mandate. While officials were in favor of it being a recommendation, most did no support a requirement. The mandate was shot down in a vote.

Emergency Policy Group members had endorsed the concept of an order mandating residents to wear face coverings while in public where they will interact with other people. This would include in stores, while using public transit, or running essential errands.

While not required, it is still recommended by the CDC that citizens wear face coverings while grocery shopping/picking up meals, while exercising outside.

How is are these measures enforced? It’s the intent of the order to seek voluntary compliance from residents, and for law enforcement to educate and warn residents about the dangers of non-compliance. As a last resort, violations may be prosecuted as a second-degree misdemeanor.

Want to learn how to make a cloth mask at home? The Tampa Bay Times made a handy guide for residents to use.

The vote takes place on April 16. We’ll update the story with the results of the vote.

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Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is the Editor of thatssotampa.com. Follow him on Twitter @harlanyoungII and Instagram @harlanyoung. Send tips and potential stories to info@thatssotampa.com.