NEW ORLEANS — The city of New Orleans is promising to investigate reports of large gatherings after the French Quarter saw crowds of people Saturday night in the first test of the city's coronavirus-prevention measures under Phase 3.2.
In a series of tweets Sunday, city officials said they had been "made aware of the crowds gathering in the (French Quarter)."
Officials said a city task force and NOPD officers enforced the 11 p.m. curfew for ordering drinks, but acknowledged "bad actors" not complying with the rules.
The city vowed to take enforcement action against businesses not complying with the current restrictions but did not address the crowds of people looking for a drink at those businesses.
"Our people have put in the work which has allowed us to ease restrictions, but actions that lead to super spreader events will not be condoned," city officials said. "We cannot go back."
Under the new coronavirus guidelines, New Orleans businesses have begun opening up to in-shop dining.
The city has taken a slower approach to reopening than the rest of the state, where Gov. John Bel Edwards lifted restrictions to Phase 3 without any sub-phases several weeks ago.
Here's a full list of the Phase 3.2 guidelines:
- Indoor live entertainment will be allowed with a Special Event Permit in restaurants, indoor event venues, and concert halls. Singing, karaoke, and wind-blown instruments are prohibited indoors.
- Bars and breweries without LDH food permits will be allowed to have outdoor seating of 25% permitted occupancy or 50 individuals, whichever is fewer. Alcohol sales are limited to the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.
- Breweries with an LDH food permit will be allowed to have indoor seating of 25% of permitted occupancy and outdoor seating of 100% permitted occupancy or 50 individuals, whichever is fewer. Alcohol sales are limited to the hours of 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. The City of New Orleans is making this provision in its guidelines because unlike bars, breweries are not eligible to apply for the State’s conditional restaurant permit.
- Houses of worship, movie theaters, and conference venues will be allowed to open for timed, seated events at 50% of permitted occupancy or 500 individuals, whichever is fewer.
- Outdoor stadiums and large arenas will be allowed to have 25% permitted occupancy or 500 individuals, whichever is fewer.
- Concert halls will be allowed to open for timed, seated events at 50% of permitted occupancy or 250 individuals, whichever is fewer, with approval from the State Fire Marshal and the City’s Department of Safety and Permits. Singing, karaoke, and wind-blown instruments are prohibited indoors and alcohol sales are limited to the hours of 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.