Republicans are planning to scale back their convention in Jacksonville next month, according to a letter from Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel sent to RNC members on Thursday.
The convention will still take place from Aug. 24-27, but only regular delegates, or about 2,500 people, will be allowed to attend for the first three days.
On Aug. 27, when President Trump will publicly accept the party’s nomination, each delegate, their guest, and alternate delegates will be allowed to attend.
That means final-day attendance would likely be capped at around 7,000 people.
Ms. McDaniel said they plan to implement a variety of health protocols to ensure a safe event, including “on-site temperature checks, available PPE, aggressive sanitizing protocols, and available COVID-19 testing.”
“I want to make clear that we still intend to host a fantastic convention celebration in Jacksonville,” she said. “We can gather and put on a top-notch event that celebrates the incredible accomplishments of President Trump’s administration and his re-nomination for a second term — while also doing so in a safe and responsible manner.”
Both Ms. McDaniel and the Jacksonville host committee said Thursday that organizers plan to use both indoor and outdoor facilities in Florida for events during the week.
Republicans announced last month that they were moving parts of the convention to Florida. The event was originally to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, would not guarantee full use of a packed arena amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“When we made these changes, we had hoped to be able to plan a traditional convention celebration to which we are all accustomed,” Ms. McDaniel said. “However, adjustments must be made to comply with state and local health guidelines.”
Jacksonville currently has a mask mandate for indoor events and in places where people can’t socially distance.
Under the state’s Phase 2 guidance, people are encouraged to avoid gathering in groups of more than 50 people.
The party is still planning to conduct some business in Charlotte.
The Democratic National Convention was supposed to take place this week in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but the party moved it to August and switched to a largely virtual format amid coronavirus concerns.
Sign up for Daily Newsletters