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New Orleans will require COVID vaccines or negative tests for bars, Superdome and more

The requirement goes into effect on Monday, Aug. 16.

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans will require people to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours old for many indoor activities, including eating at restaurants, drinking at bars and attending Saints games.

The requirement goes into effect on Monday, Aug. 16 and enforcement will begin the following week, according to Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

"We have to make sure that we keep our businesses open. That is a priority. We have to keep our children in school. This is a priority," Cantrell said. "(The vaccine) is our only way out of this virus."

Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test from the last 72 hours will be required to enter the following businesses: 

INDOOR DINING

  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Breweries, microbreweries, distilleries & micro-distilleries

INDOOR FITNESS

  • Gyms
  • Indoor group fitness centers or individual fitness classes

INDOOR ENTERTAINMENT & PERFORMANCE SPACES

  • Indoor sports complexes, stadiums & arenas
  • Concert & music halls
  • Event spaces such as hotel ballrooms, event venues & reception halls
  • Pool halls, bowling alleys, indoor play centers, arcades, skating rinks, indoor playgrounds & arcades
  • Adult live performance venues
  • Casinos, racetracks & video poker establishments
  • Indoor amusement facilities

LARGE OUTDOOR EVENTS

  • Outdoor events of more than 500 people if total attendance is more than

INDOOR GATHERINGS

  • Masks are required at all indoor gatherings.
  • Proof of vaccination or negative PCR tests will be required at all indoor gatherings at establishments included in these requirements.

OUTDOOR GATHERINGS

  • Masks strongly recommended for outdoor events of 500+ people if total event attendance is less than 50% of the outdoor venue’s capacity.
  • Masks required for outdoor events of 500+ people if total attendance is more than 50% of the outdoor venue’s capacity.
  • Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID PCR test result from last 72 hours required for outdoor events of 500+ people if total attendance is more than 50% of the outdoor venue's capacity.

The idea comes as the delta variant has sent cases to record highs in Louisiana. The state Department of Health on Thursday reported 5,268 new cases.

Mayor Cantrell late last month announced a requirement for all city employees to get vaccinated as she re-instituted an indoor mask mandate.

Cantrell said that the vaccine requirements will help New Orleans avoid another shut down.

"All options will always be on the table," she said. "One of the things that I definitely am not in favor of at this particular time is a shut down. We can’t take it."

New York City was the first U.S. city to institute a policy that would require proof of vaccination for many indoor activities. The Los Angeles City Council has asked the city attorney to draft an ordinance that would enact a similar rule.

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