The Florida city of Jacksonville, the new home of the Republican National Convention in August, is ordering people to wear masks indoors and in public places where they cannot practice social distancing.
City officials said the order is mandatory and will take effect at 5 p.m. Monday.
“The City of Jacksonville will be adopting a mandatory mask requirement for public & indoor locations, and in other situations where individuals cannot socially distance,” the city tweeted Monday. “Please continue to practice personal responsibility to help stop the spread of this virus.”
The decision comes as Florida and other states across the Sun Belt see an alarming uptick in cases and hospitalizations from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Masks are considered a simple but effective tool for blocking potentially infectious droplets that people emit when speaking, singing, coughing or sneezing.
The RNC decided to transfer much of its convention from Charlotte to Jacksonville after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper pushed back on Republicans’ push to hold the convention and President Trump’s big speech without social distancing in the venue.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Mr. Trump believes mask-wearing should be a personal choice. But he also thinks people should follow local rules.
“He encourages people to make whatever decision is best for their safety, but he did say to me he has no problem with masks and to do whatever your local jurisdiction requests of you,” she said.
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