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Mayor Rick Kriseman discusses mandatory mask order in St. Petersburg

The mayor signed the executive order requiring masks in public spaces Monday. The order goes into effect at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Credit: 10News WTSP

To limit the spread of COVID-19, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman on Monday signed an executive order requiring face coverings when inside any public space.

Kriseman said Monday the order requires every person to wear a face covering or mask in any indoor location within city limits. The order does not apply to private homes. 

It goes into effect at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Under the new order, all people within St. Petersburg are required to wear a mask or cloth face covering when entering a business. You can find details on the order on the city's website here.

The first few days will be for what the mayor calls "education," and so people can get or make masks or face coverings. Starting this weekend, the rule will be enforced.

Mayor Kriseman said business owners should treat the mask mandate like a "no shirt, no shoes, no service" policy. However, he emphasized he doesn't want business owners to "police" this order - they have a right to ask patrons to wear a mask and to put one on if they come inside without one. If they don't want to put one on or leave the business, they should call police and let them handle it.

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Monday's order was a continuation of Kriseman's announcement last week that all employees at local businesses must wear face masks when they are in parts of their buildings that are open to the public. That ordinance applies to all establishments in the city, including bars, restaurants, gyms, retail shops, entertainment centers, barbershops, salons and more.

Over the week, at least 50 businesses were inspected to ensure they were complying with the order, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department. Nine were found in violation and 24 did not have their plans posted, police said.

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