x
Breaking News
More () »

Tampa Bay and Sarasota's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Tampa Bay and Sarasota, FL | WTSP.com

Pinellas County will no longer require businesses to mandate face masks

The moves come one day after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he was suspending all local emergency orders that were put in place earlier in the pandemic.

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Leaders in Pinellas County announced Tuesday they were rescinding certain COVID-19 safety protocols required at businesses – including the local face-covering requirements. 

Pinellas County leaders said the order requiring safety plans for large events was also rescinded. 

The moves come one day after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he was suspending all local emergency orders that were put in place earlier in the pandemic.

The governor said his suspension of local COVID-related emergency orders, which are currently in place, through his executive power was "the evidence-based thing to do."

DeSantis cited the number of Floridians vaccinated, the surplus of doses in the state and his want for people in the state to live freely as reasons behind the decision.

The governor added that emergency orders and "extraordinary measures" are not justifiable at this point.

Local leaders say DeSantis' executive order and the county's subsequent decision do not apply to the Pinellas County School Board. That means masks and social distancing protocols will stay in effect through the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

Pinellas County leaders say private businesses and organizations can still require face-coverings or have other COVID-19 safety protocols in place, as they see fit.

What other people are reading right now:

►Breaking news and weather alerts: Get the free 10 Tampa Bay app

Stay In the Know! Sign up now for the Brightside Blend Newsletter