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Tampa Mayor Castor Limits Bar And Restaurant Hours

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor announced Monday the city is putting limits on bar and restaurant hours and occupancy to keep coronavirus from spreading..
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Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor announced limits on bar and restaurant hours on Monday night in an effort to halt the spread of coronavirus.

The mayor called on residents to do what they can to protect themselves and others by following CDC guidelines, singling out social distancing as a key in preventing the proliferation of COVID-19.

"When community spread occurs," said Castor, "we risk transmitting the disease to the most vulnerable members of our community."

To help enforce that, Castor ordered all bars and restaurants to limit their occupancy to 50 percent of their maximum capacity, starting Tuesday at noon. She also ordered them to close daily at 10 p.m. until further notice.

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The mayor said that since some small businesses might feel the pinch of the cuts, she's encouraging people to patronize them from home.

"We are asking our community to support our local restaurants through takeout and delivery options," Castor said, adding that UberEats is waiving its delivery fees for the Tampa area.

The mayor also announced the creation of an economic recovery task force to help small businesses affected by the virus.

Late Monday, Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill issued an administrative orderwith the same restrictions for restaurants, bars, and private clubs in the rest of the county.

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Lisa Peakes is the local host of NPR's All Things Considered on WUSF 89.7.