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Masks now mandatory in Hillsborough County & Tampa

WESLEY CHAPEL, FL - If you plan to drive south from Wesley Chapel into Hillsborough County or the City of Tampa, bring a mask with you.

Starting Wednesday June 23, 2020 at 5 p.m., all indoor business operators will be required to enforce a mandatory mask order in Hillsborough County.

The order carries a stick. Business operators who don’t comply could be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to 60 days in jail and/or six months probation and a $500 fine.

Customers can’t be penalized. That change to a draft order came after Temple Terrace acting Mayor Andy Ross, a former sheriff’s deputy, said police have enough to deal with right now.

“I cannot charge our police with being the mask police,” he said.

The policy allows people to be exempt from the order if they have a preexisting medical condition that would be worsened by a mask. They would not be required to show documentation, said County Attorney Christine Beck.

Pasco County stated previously it has no plans to create such an order at the current time. Social distancing is encouraged as always.

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