NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana is moving into Phase 3, further opening most businesses and even allowing bars to reopen in some parishes.
Here's an outline of what Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Friday:
- Businesses such as restaurants, spas, gyms, etc. will be allowed to open at 75% while still following social distancing guidelines
- Bars can reopen on a parish-by-parish basis IF the parish is testing under 5% positivity for two weeks. If they meet that criteria, parish leaders still have to approve the reopening. Those bars will be at 25% occupancy and open for table service ONLY.
- On-premise alcohol sales will end at 10 p.m. for all restaurants, bars, casinos, etc.
- Nobody under 21-years-old will be allowed in these reopened bars.
- Social gatherings such as weddings or parties will be capped at 50% or 250 people, whichever is lower. Same for any outdoor events.
- Casinos will stay under Phase 2 rules: 50% capacity.
- Sporting events such as high school football will be capped at 25% capacity. Social distancing is required.
- Nursing homes will still not allow visitors, but the LDH is working on a new program to facilitate outdoor visits in parishes with under 5% positivity in their testing.
The governor added that the mask mandate and all common sense recommendations for stopping the spread of COVID-19 will still be included in Phase 3.
Earlier in the day, Gov. Edwards said that this is likely the last major change in Louisiana's restrictions until a vaccine is released.
The governor’s plans will not include New Orleans as Mayor LaToya Cantrell has said the city will keep existing Phase 2 restrictions in place. New Orleans is preparing to return public school students to classrooms beginning Monday. Cantrell said safely returning students to classes is the city’s top priority.