To ensure that ticket holders to Super Bowl LVI observe the mandatory mask mandate, organizers will give each observer an N95 mask, but the question of how authorities will enforce such a requirement remains unanswered.
Last weekend at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, where the Super Bowl will be held Feb. 13, most fans ignored the city’s mask mandate for “outdoor mega events.” Even Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti didn’t keep his mask on when he took a photo with Magic Johnson.
He faced backlash for the decision and further ridicule for his explanation. “I wore my mask the entire game… when people ask for a photograph, I hold my breath and hold it here and people can see that. There’s a zero percent chance of infection from that.”
At the Super Bowl, which will see the NFC-champion Rams and the AFC-champion Cincinnati Bengals face off, approximately 80,000 fans will be greeted by signs and staff reminding them to mask up.
“You see the game last Sunday and you see thousands and thousands of maskless faces… how do you go about enforcing it?? Holding up a sign saying, ‘please put your mask on’ isn’t necessarily going to send the message,” Inside Edition chief correspondent Jim Moret asked at a press conference.
“There’s a thing called personal responsibility; you can’t force somebody a mask all the time,” Inglewood Mayor James Butts said. “In the end, it’s the responsibility of people to take care of themselves, their families and friends.”
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is in charge of security at the big game and spoke about the idea of enforcing the mask mandate in an interview with Moret.
“How in the world do you enforce mask wearing, are you supposed to arrest people?” Moret asked.
“We’re not going to be the first responder, being the mask police. I don’t think that’s our role,” Villanueva replied.
People who refuse to put on a mask after being told to do so could face a fine ranging from $100 to $500.