Jacksonville to require masks before Trump convention speech

  • The Republican National Convention site says it will now require wearing masks indoors.
  • Jacksonville, Florida announced Monday that it will require people to wear masks indoors as COVID-19 cases increase in the Sunshine State.
  • President Trump had previously pulled out of Charlotte, North Carolina, the convention’s original site, over complaints that his COVID-19 restrictions would have prevented him from filling the arena at full capacity.
  • Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry was not present at the press conference.
  • Visit the Business Insider home page for more stories.

The city of Jacksonville, Florida says it will now require people to use indoors, and that will likely complicate President Donald Trump’s plans for a speech at the convention in August.

The announcement was made shortly after noon ET on Monday, and Politico first reported the development.

Trump and his campaign initially sought Jacksonville by leaving the planned site of Charlotte, North Carolina, after the president expressed frustration at not being able to pack the city arena for the Republican convention.

Official affairs will continue to take place in Charlotte, as there are contracts to fulfill, but Jacksonville will be the site of the most television-friendly speeches and convention events.

Last week, amid rising new COVID-19 cases in Florida and concerns in Duval County of Jacksonville over the Trump show coming to town, Republican Mayor Lenny Curry’s office told Insider that the mayor “would encourage” those attending the rally to wear masks, but he did not come to ask for a mandate.

Curry was reportedly absent from the press conference announcing the mandatory mask measure on Monday, and a spokeswoman told the head of the New York Times’ Miami office that he had had a “family commitment.”

According to Politico, a “turning point” for the mayor’s office came when the Coast Guard and US Navy facilities in Jacksonville recently ordered the use of interior masks.

Curry said he continues to support the convention taking place in his city, according to city council sources who spoke to Politico anonymously.

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