Super Bowl 2021: Fears Tampa Bay celebrations may spark fresh COVID-19 outbreak

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' win over Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV has sparked concerns that celebrations in the Florida city may act as a COVID-19 spreading event. 

Overnight thousands of fans - many without masks - packed the streets. 

Meanwhile, for the Buccaneers themselves, celebrations during a global pandemic looked very different to normal. 

Tampa’s first Super Bowl win in 18 years was always bound to spark delirium among their loyal fan base, but what happened after is now of major concern.

Despite the best endeavours of many venues, what have become routine COVID rules have been ignored, although Tampa's mayor is in denial.

"Very, very few incidents, so I'm proud of our community," says Mayor Jane Castor. "But those few bad actors will be identified and the Tampa Police Department will handle it."

Fortunately, no police were required to handle the champion Buccaneers, whose celebrations in the locker room were just the beginning of a big night.

"It was probably about two hours of sleep, so I'm gonna be trying to get some extra sleep today," admits Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady, 43.

Tampa Bay fans celebrate Super Bowl victory
Tampa Bay fans celebrate Super Bowl victory. Photo credit: Getty

Brady will have more opportunity to do that than previous years, with COVID-19 delaying the traditional parade in Tampa until later in the week.

A trip to the White House is also on hold.

"We look forward to inviting the Buccaneers… when it is COVID safe, but I don't know when that will happen yet," confirms press secretary Jen Psaki.

One tradition that wasn't put on hold, although a trip to Disney World looked far different to when Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes visited last year.

Bucs tight end Rob Gronkowski wasn’t getting so close to the fans.

"My fans are awesome," he posted on Instagram. "I love you, my fans."

Hopefully, those same fans aren't responsible for a fresh surge of COVID in Tampa.