Mask mandates return: Where you need to mask up in Tampa Bay


(Getty Images for WFLA)

TAMPA (WFLA) – As COVID-19 cases continue to rise again, some restrictions are being put back into place across the Tampa Bay area.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on July 27, in the wake of a spike in cases and concerns over the delta variant, to say fully-vaccinated Americans should mask up again in indoor spaces if they live in areas with “substantial and high” transmission of COVID. According to the CDC’s website, that includes all Florida counties.

Although there was never a statewide mask mandate, several counties and municipalities across the state, including in the Tampa Bay area, did issue local orders requiring face coverings.

Now, in response to that updated guidance from the CDC, some businesses are putting mask mandates back in place. Here are the policies in Tampa Bay:


Publix is making masks mandatory again for employees regardless of their vaccination status. The new policy went into effect on Aug. 2. Masks will not be required for customers but a Publix spokesperson told 8 On Your Side, “we encourage customers to follow CDC guidance.”

The spokesperson for Publix added that the company is encouraging, but not requiring, employees to get vaccinated.

Disney World

Face coverings are required for all Disney World ages two and up while indoors and in Disney buses, monorail and Disney Skyliner, regardless of vaccination status.

This includes upon entering and throughout all attractions. Face coverings remain optional for all guests in outdoor common areas.


Target is mandating masks for employees where there is a “substantial or high risk” of COVID-19 transmission and “strongly recommend” them for shoppers.


Walmart has announced that associates who work in multiple facilities, and associates of its campus office, will need to be vaccinated by Oct. 4.

Walmart is requiring associates, including those fully vaccinated, to wear masks in its stores.


Face masks will be recommended in all LEGOLAND Florida Resort indoor locations for guests, regardless of vaccination status.

Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens is recommending that guests wear face coverings while indoors.

Universal Orlando

All Universal Orlando employees are required to wear face coverings while working indoors in guest areas and all will continue to practice social distancing.

Universal Orlando says guests will be encouraged to wear face coverings while indoors across the park.

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld is recommending that guests wear face coverings while indoors.

Tampa Bay History Center

Beginning August 2, in accordance with CDC guidelines and Hillsborough County administrative directives, all guests older than two must wear face coverings while visiting the Tampa Bay History Center.

Kennedy Space Center 

Beginning July 29, all guests, including those vaccinated against COVID-19, are required to wear face coverings in all indoor locations at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Guests who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are not required to wear face coverings outdoors.

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