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Jacksonville will require masks ahead of Trump convention speech

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  • The site of the Republican National Convention will now require mask wearing indoors.
  • President Donald Trump pulled out of Charlotte, N.C. — the original site for the convention — over complaints with the city’s COVID-19 restrictions that would have prevented him from filling the arena to full capacity.
  • The new site, Jacksonville Fla., announced Monday it will require people to wear masks indoors as COVID-19 cases spike in the Sunshine state. 
  • The city’s mayor, Lenny Curry, was not present at the news conference.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

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

The announcement was made shortly after noon on Monday, with Politico first reporting the development.

Trump and his campaign initially sought out Jacksonville upon leaving the planned site of Charlotte, N.C. after the president expressed frustration over not being able to pack the city’s arena for the GOP Convention. 

Official business will still take place in Charlotte with contracts to be fulfilled, but Jacksonville will be the site of speeches and the more TV friendly aspects of the convention.

Last week — amid rising new cases of COVID-19 in Florida and concerns in Jacksonville’s Duval County over the Trump show coming to their city — Republican Mayor Lenny Curry’s office told Insider the mayor would “encourage” rally goers to wear masks, but stopped short of calling for a mandate. 

Curry was reportedly absent from the news conference announcing the mandatory mask measure on Monday, with a spokeswoman telling the New York Times Miami Bureau Chief that he had a “family commitment.”

The Coast Guard and Navy facilities in Jacksonville recently mandating indoor mask wearing was a turning point for the mayor’s office, according to Politico.

Curry still remains supportive of the convention taking place in his city, according to city hall sources who spoke to Politico anonymously.

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