COVID-19 Industry Update

January 22, 2020

On Friday, the NFL announced Super Bowl LV, which is being played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Feb. 7, will be played in front of 22,000 fans, 7,500 of whom will be vaccinated healthcare workers attending with free tickets.

This Sunday, we will find out which two teams will be featured in the game from these four: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills.

As a founding partner of the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee, we want to remind you of the importance of health and safety and communicating clearly with visitors and guests. It’s imperative to continue following CDC guidelines and Pinellas County’s mask ordinance and other local orders.

All of our tourism partners play a critical role when it comes to the guest experience for a region-wide event like the Super Bowl, which is why we’re providing these suggestions, many of which you’re likely already thinking about. But with this signature event and spring travel season upon us, it’s important to deliver a first-class guest experience while maintaining health and safety protocols.

  • For lodging partners, create a one-sheeter to be handed to each guest upon check-in that addresses key areas, such as food and beverage, housekeeping, cleaning policies and what is/isn’t available.
  • Making sure you have reminders for on-site COVID requirements, like wearing a mask. For free signage, go here.
  • Increasing staff to meet demand, not forgetting about the weeks leading up to and after the actual game.
  • Refreshing rooms or areas that haven’t been utilized since the pandemic began.
  • Wrap up or minimize construction projects.

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater’s “Rise to Shine” program and free materials are still available for tourism partners. If you’re in need of masks, hand sanitizer and signage, don’t hesitate to fill out the form on this page and we’ll deliver materials to your business for free.

Below are other pertinent updates.


Pinellas County is enhancing safety for large outdoor events as it continues the fight against COVID-19. County government and municipal officials are taking a unified approach by developing safety standards for large outdoor events of 1,000 or more attendees. Under the new order, organizers for large, outdoor community events of 1,000 or more attendees will be required to create a safety plan that outlines steps to protect patrons from COVID-19. Each plan will describe how the event organizers will meet criteria such as:

  • Face covering requirements (mandatory for all event staff and attendees).
  • Caps on attendee numbers to maintain social distancing at all times.
  • Safe access to and from the event, including screening of staff and individuals for any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Signage and communication to participants about the safety requirements.
  • Sanitation and disinfection requirements.

Event organizers must submit their plans in advance to the municipality in which the event is intended to take place. For unincorporated areas, they should contact Pinellas County. All events must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Event organizers should contact the respective municipality for details on plan submittal.

The emergency order does not apply to school events operated by or under the jurisdiction of the Pinellas County School Board, public health events such as mass vaccinations or testing, and religious rituals where social distancing is otherwise maintained. The order will only remain in place until there is a consistent reduction in the spread of COVID-19, as well as sufficient vaccines made available to Pinellas County.


To expedite the COVID-19 vaccination process, the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County and Pinellas County Government partnered to create a new, more robust registration system to manage appointments for those 65 and older. Residents can create an account at With more than 250,000 people over 65 years of age and a limited number of vaccine doses, this process will take time and patience is requested. Here is Pinellas County’s vaccine page that has complete and up-to-date info. New appointments will be announced there, as well as on the county’s Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor accounts.


Visit St. Pete/Clearwater’s monthly Tourist Development Council (TDC) meeting on Wednesday featured presentations from St. Pete/Clearwater International Airport (PIE), Creative Pinellas and the James Museum. The complete meeting materials and video can be found here.


A week ago, St. Pete’s deadline for bids to redevelop the Tropicana Field site passed. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the city received visions from eight companies to be the “master developer” on the site. The five-month bidding window gives way to city officials and Mayor Rick Kriseman evaluating the proposals, negotiating with finalists and ultimately choosing a project. The Tampa Bay Rays’ lease of the stadium runs through the 2027 season.


On Tuesday, Germany toughened a partial lockdown and extended it to Feb. 14. Restaurants, leisure facilities, hairdressers and large parts of the retail sector will remain closed nationwide, while mask requirements are being tightened. Medical protective masks must be worn on public transportation, in stores and religious services. Work-from-home is being required wherever it is feasible.


On Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Canadians with plans to travel this winter, “cancel your trip.” This message comes as Trudeau said the federal government could impose new restrictions without advance notice at any time and now is not the time to be travelling abroad. The Canadian-U.S. border is closed to non-essential travel until at least Feb. 21, along with the Mexico-U.S. border.

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