Hundreds Of Maskless Super Bowl Fans Flood Streets After Buccaneers Win
Hundreds of maskless Super Bowl fans gathered in clubs and bars ahead of the game this weekend, ignoring a temporary mandate.
Footage from the celebrations posted on social media shows large crowds of people gathering throughout Tampa, Florida, forcing local police departments to intervene.
Ahead of the game on Sunday, Tampa Police Department released a statement, describing the scenes are ‘incredibly disappointing’.
‘The city spent the better part of a year educating residents on precautions due to the pandemic and have recently put a mask order in place for both the entertainment and event zones to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors to our great City,’ the department said.
In anticipation of the event, Tampa’s mayor, Jane Cator, introduced a temporary order making face masks mandatory indoors when social distancing is not possible. Those in violation of the order can face a possible fine of $500.
Following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ win, fans flocked to the city’s streets, packing out whole roads.
Videos posted on Twitter showed celebrations getting a tad wild, with one man arrested for climbing a tree.
Elsewhere, a group of partygoers halted a bus in its track as they climbed onto its roof.
Over the weekend, the city organised a campaign and a distribution plan to encourage people to wear masks with a slogan titled ‘need a mask, just ask’.
Ahead of last night’s game, Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Associated Press: ‘I’m worried about Super Bowl Sunday, quite honestly. People gather, they watch games together. We’ve seen outbreaks already from football parties.’
One reporter, who lives in Tampa Bay, described the crowds as an ‘ocean of people’.
The US has the highest number of coronavirus infections in the world. At the time of writing, more than 29 million Americans have had the virus, as per Johns Hopkins University.
Town DeGeorge, the owner of a local venue, The Crowbar, told ABC News: ‘You’ve got venues that are operating at 100% capacity, stuffing their places. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see a line that’s two blocks long and know there’s going to a dance floor inside. Shut them down.’
It comes after Dr Anthony Fauci, the US chief medical advisor, warned that Super Bowl parties could turn into ‘mini superspreader events’.
‘Enjoy the Super Bowl, but don’t do it with a large crowd of people in your house in a place when it’s cold and you don’t have good ventilation. It’s a perfect setup to have a mini super spreader event in your own house. Don’t do that for now. There will be other Super Bowls,’ he cautioned.
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