Jacksonville Starts Requiring Indoor Masks Ahead of August GOP Convention

Masks will not be required for most outdoor locations, anyone under 2 years of age or people with breathing problems.

"At 5 p.m. today, the city of Jacksonville will be adopting a mandatory mask requirement for public and indoor locations, and in other situations where individuals can not socially distance", the city government said in a statement. His stance made the north Florida city an attractive location to Trump, who has mostly refused to wear one.

Earlier this month the Republican National Committee (RNC) chose Jacksonville to host part of this summer's party convention, after largely abandoning the city of Charlotte, N.C., over disagreements on coronavirus-related crowd restrictions.

The city's mayor, Lenny Curry, was not present at the news conference.

Jacksonville, Fla. will require people to wear indoors, complicating President Donald Trump's plans for a convention speech in August.

The mandate will go into effect 5 p.m. Monday.

The letter, signed by about 200 doctors, states that Florida is already considered a hot spot for the virus.

"It is extremely unsafe and contrary to current public health recommendations to stage a large event in an area where the number of cases is surging", the doctors wrote.

Though Duval County, which encompasses all of Jacksonville, still has far fewer cases than Miami-Dade County, its rate of infections has been rising at a fast clip, according to a New York Times interactive map.

"We've advised from the beginning of May about situations where that would be appropriate, but we've left it to the locals about whether they want to use coercive measures or impose any criminal penalties", the governor said.

White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said the president's advice is to "do whatever your local jurisdiction requests of you". The move comes after Florida experienced a surge in the number of daily new coronavirus cases.