Jacksonville, Republican convention site, will require masks indoors and in public

Residents and visitors in Jacksonville, Florida will be required to wear masks indoors and in public spaces to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, the city announced Monday, which could complicate President TrumpDonald John Trump Intelligence suggests that Russian rewards led to the death of several US troops in Afghanistan: Obama report called Philonise Floyd before her brother’s memorial service: New York President Trump is trying to cover his tracks by attacking the state of right MOREThe desire to celebrate the Republican National Convention there in August without masks or social distancing.

The mandatory mask policy will take effect at 5 p.m. Monday, city officials said. It is unclear how long it will remain in place.

“At 5 pm today, the city of Jacksonville will adopt a mandatory mask requirement for indoor and public places, and in other situations where people cannot distance themselves socially,” the city tweeted. “Continue to practice personal responsibility to help stop the spread of this virus.”

The Republican Party announced earlier this month that the main events related to this year’s convention, including Trump’s speech to accept the party’s nomination, would take place in Jacksonville.

The change of location followed a dispute with the North Carolina governor over whether the mass meeting could take place in Charlotte, its originally planned location, without precautions of social distancing.

Trump is scheduled to deliver his speech on August 27 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, which houses some 15,000 people.

The president had demanded that the Republican convention be allowed to move forward without restrictions on crowd size, and he opposed the idea of ​​requiring masks or spacing out attendees. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D) indicated that he could not commit to those terms given the uncertainty of the pandemic, and the two sides were unable to reach an agreement.

But Florida’s handling of the coronavirus has cast a cloud over the event. The state has seen a record number of cases in recent days as it struggles to control new outbreaks.

The state banned on-site alcohol consumption in bars in a reversal of some of its reopening measures in a bid to contain the new cases.