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Gov. Edwards loosens COVID restrictions; New Orleans will review changes

That was the message from a City Hall spokesman Tuesday morning, hours before the governor was expected to announce changes.

NEW ORLEANS — Gov. John Bel Edwards has loosened several COVID restrictions across the state, but the Cantrell administration will have to review any possible changes before implementing them in the city.

That was the message from a City Hall spokesman Tuesday morning, hours before the governor was expected to announce changes.

Edwards hinted last week that dropping COVID cases and rising vaccinations could lead to looser restrictions.

Tuesday he announced that starting Wednesday, businesses can increase capacity and churches will have no limits on capacity.

As Edwards has said before, local areas can have more restrictions than the state, but they can't have less. 

The city of New Orleans has often had tighter restrictions than the rest of the state, leading to lower numbers.

Edwards announced the loosened restrictions as the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continued to fall while the number of vaccines continued to rise.

Among the changes, people will now be able to sit at a bar to drink without ordering food. Standing at or gathering around a bar will still be banned for now.

Live music will also be allowed indoors. But if anyone is singing or playing a wind instrument, capacity will be reduced from 75 percent to 50 percent. Everyone must be seated.

Conferences and conventions will be allowed to begin again, but only with permission.

Small outdoor events, such as school fairs, will be allowed to resume, with crowd limitations. Larger festivals or events will need permission from the state.

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“We’ve had to make decisions based on what the data is here,” Tidwell said. “In some instances, that’s meant either more caution or a slightly different level of restriction.

”New Orleans last week did loosen some restrictions on gathering sizes allowed indoors and outdoors.

“When the numbers are low, when people are adhering to the guidelines, we are able to make those incremental changes,” Tidwell said.

 

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