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Photo: Axios.

Indoor and outdoor mask mandates, hand-washing stations and strict checks on local businesses are in store for Super Bowl visitors to Tampa, Mayor Jane Castor (D) said Thursday at an Axios virtual event.

The state of play: Tampa ordered an indoor mask mandate early in the pandemic, but Castor further imposed an outdoor mask mandate last month for "areas that we expect there will be large crowds [that] will congregate."

  • The city has also received hundreds of thousands of mask donations in preparation for the Super Bowl. Castor says there will be stations to distribute the masks to those in need, with staffers wearing shirts that say, "Want a mask? Just ask."
  • The mayor added that city workers will regularly conduct in-person checks of businesses to ensure mask mandates are being followed.
  • Castor says the "vast majority" of businesses have been in compliance with the mandates thus far.

Castor and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas (D) also put out a public service announcement forewarning visitors about the mandate.

  • A PSA from Castor will further play throughout Tampa International Airport for any travelers to hear.

What she's saying: "This Super Bowl won't be the economic boom that we really had hoped for. But we are going to make the best of it. And we do anticipate that we will have a lot of visitors here," Castor said.

  • "We have perfect weather. We live in paradise, and we expect that there will be a lot of visitors from some of the states that are snowed in right now."

Go deeper: Fauci pleads: Skip the Super Bowl parties

Watch the event.

Go deeper

Updated Feb 4, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: Hospitality and the return to work in Tampa

On Thursday, February 4, Axios Tampa Bay reporters Selene San Felice and Ben Montgomery hosted a Smart Take conversation on the hospitality industry, economic recovery and the return to work in Tampa, featuring Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and Tampa Bay Economic Development Council CEO Craig Richard.

Mayor Jane Castor discussed how Tampa has approached public health during the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • On how the city is supporting its residents during the pandemic. "There's a moratorium on any evictions...In addition, we are working in collaboration with career sources on workforce development. That is one of the larger elements of my administration's platform."
  • On how existing development projects were able to safely progress during the pandemic: "We hired a medical director at the city and individuals had to be screened before they could come on the job site. They had to wear masks, they had to socially distance and there had to be hand washing stations throughout those locations. ..I'm very proud to say, out of the thousands of workers that we were able to keep employed, we had very few COVID-19 cases at those locations."

Craig Richard unpacked economic development in Tampa and the impact it has on the 2021 Super Bowl.

  • On the challenges of economic development during the pandemic: "Tampa Bay's challenges aren't unlike any other big cities challenges right now: the challenges that we're facing are primarily pandemic related. All the obstacles and barriers that are associated with that it difficult to bring in clients and prospects and actually show them the fine city that we have."

Axios Senior Vice President of Client Partnerships Jon Otto hosted a View from the Top segment with 'Dinner Done!' co-founder and CEO Audra Nasser, who discussed the food industry in Tampa.

  • How having a digital presence impacted their ability to operate during the pandemic: "It also gave us inventory controls and that turned out to be very critical in our ability to immediately begin offering curbside pickup to our customers. Additionally, we used a lot of social media like Facebook and Instagram to continuously communicate with our customers."

Thank you Facebook for sponsoring this event.

The Super Bowl highlights the dark side of Tampa Bay's sex trade

An anti-trafficking poster in Miami ahead of its Super Bowl last year. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/AFP via Getty Images

The Super Bowl has become, well, the Super Bowl of anti-human-trafficking campaigns.

What's happening: Tampa saw 71 arrests last month in a trafficking sting, mirroring similar mass arrests in Miami and Atlanta ahead of their Super Bowls.

Joe Redner, Tampa's "Strip Club King," preps for the Super Bowl

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Charles Ommanney/Getty Images

Joe Redner, owner of the Mons Venus strip club and government antagonist extraordinaire, is 80 years old, has beaten cancer three times and thinks he has about six years left.

What's happening: He's getting ready for another Super Bowl at his club, which sits just a stone's throw from Raymond James Stadium.

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