TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group has passed a mandatory mask ordinance on Monday.

The order was passed 5-3, with Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, Plant City Mayor Rick Lott and Hillsborough County School Board Chair Melissa Snively voting no.

It will go into effect starting Wednesday at 5 p.m. and will be renewed every seven days.


Employees and customers are required to wear a mask inside businesses. The ordinance will not require people to wear a mask outside, unless social distancing is not possible.

Schools and places of worship are exempt from the ordinance.

As part of an amendment made to the executive order, the EPG said enforcement of the order will be placed on business operators, not the owner of the space in which the business occupies. No fines will be issued if a person does not abide by the order, however, the business operator could face a fine.

“We should help. As a business owner, definitely we can take some responsibilities. It’s good. We can help our city, we can help our county, we can help our country to really see a positive impact,” said Moe Hassan, the owner of Joe’s New York Diner.

This vote comes a week after mask mandates took effect in the city of Tampa and St. Petersburg.