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Tampa Bars Penalized For Repeated Violations Of City's Mask Mandate

Two Ybor City businesses are paying the consequences for not following Tampa's citywide mask order.
Two Ybor City businesses are paying the consequences for not following Tampa's citywide mask order.

The city requires all customers to wear a face-covering while not actively eating or drinking. Two businesses have had their liquor license suspended for three days for not enforcing the order.

The Tampa City Council has cracked down on a pair of Ybor City establishments for violating the city’s mask order in December and January.

Council members said the businesses had ignored warnings and repeatedly violated ordinances put in place to battle COVID-19.

On Thursday, the alcohol licenses for Tangra and Ybor Cigars Plus were suspended for three days next week.

Councilman John Dingfelder said the city needed to make a statement.

"We are still in the middle of this pandemic and that's why we're doing this,” he said. “We're not doing this because we're against bars and clubs in Ybor. OK, we support bars and clubs in Ybor. But everybody has to pull together on this for the health and safety of our community."

Code enforcement officers say the fined establishments had been given at least two written citations.

"Most businesses have complied," said city attorney Gina Grimes of Tampa's mask order.

“We know it can be successfully done. However, we found that there's approximately 10 establishments that have ignored the warnings and ignored the first citation and ignored the second citation."

Four more businesses will appear before the Tampa City Council on Monday to face similar allegations.

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Cathy Carter is the education reporter for WUSF 89.7 and StateImpact Florida.