NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced the city will enter reopening phase 3.2 on Saturday.
She says the city is seeing positive trends when it comes to the Coronavirus.
“In terms of the rate of transmission, of course hospitalizations, of course deaths, we’re looking good,” Cantrell said.
Bars and breweries without food permits will finally be allowed to have outdoor seating.
Crowds would be limited to 25% of normal capacity or 50 people. whichever is fewer.
Ivan Burgess, co-owner of the Rusty Nail in the Warehouse District says reopening a bar is still difficult at this time.
“Do all the things you would normally do,” Burgess said. “Add some more costs, more rigmarole and then be at limited capacity. It’s a tough time to be in this business, for sure.”
Burgess says the Rusty Nail will remain closed.
He and his partners recently opened the Sidecar, a restaurant next door.
For now, the restaurant is utilizing the bar’s patio.
“You get mad about it, you get over it,” Burgess said. “You get mad about it again, you get over it again. It’s like we just have to wait it out.”
Also under the city’s phase 3.2, churches and movie theaters, will be allowed to open at 50% or with 500 people, whichever is fewer.
Outdoor sporting events will be allowed to have 500 people in the stands or up to 25% of the stadium’s capacity.
Mayor Cantrell said despite the positive trends, the city is “not there yet” when it comes to allowing spectators to watch the Saints play in the Superdome.
The team is in talks with LSU to play future home games in Tiger Stadium.
Baton Rouge is allowing about 20,000 fans in the stands for LSU games.
“I think that could be a great place, temporarily,” Cantrell said. “It is an outdoor stadium. They are allowing fans in the stadium, but right now there’s no way, given the current conditions to allow 20,000 fans in the Superdome, an indoor stadium when no one else is doing it in the United States of America because it’s the right thing to do at this time.”
The mayor did not give a timetable as to when spectators would be allowed in the dome.
Even under the looser restrictions of Phase 3.2, the city will still have the strictest COVID regulations in Louisiana.