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New Orleans allows for larger gatherings, but won't open up with the rest of Louisiana

The new gathering size limits come as New Orleans continues to make progress in the battle against COVID-19.

NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans is easing COVID-19 restrictions for all indoor and outdoor gatherings, but won't be going as far as the rest of Louisiana.

According to a statement from Mayor LaToya Cantrell's office, all indoor gatherings will be limited to 150 people and all outdoor gatherings will be limited to 250 people as of April 2.

Outdoor recreation spaces and sports complexes will be able to host crowds at 50% of their occupancy, while similar indoor spaces can open at 25% of standing capacity.

"Any events taking place in recreation spaces or sports complexes that are not athletic competitions, must obtain a special event permit," the statement read.

Here are New Orleans current COVID-19 restrictions:

Businesses are allowed to open at 75% capacity

Mask Mandate

  • Masks are required in public.
  • Masks are required when around anyone outside of your household. 
  • Masks are not required when engaged in outdoor personal exercise, athletic competition, or when actively eating or drinking. 

Social Distancing Required

  • All activities must include strict social distancing.
  • Businesses, residents, and visitors should ensure 6 feet distance between groups of people who do not live together.

Gathering Sizes

  • Indoor gatherings are limited to 150 individuals, with masking and social distancing required.
  • Outdoor gatherings are limited to 250 individuals, with masking and social distancing required.

Live Entertainment and Special Events

  • Live entertainment may be performed at bars, concert halls, music halls, live performance venues, and event venues following the capacity limits based on the business type.
  • All venues must obtain a Special Event Permit or a Certificate of Registration to allow live entertainment.
  • Singing and wind-blown instruments will now be allowed indoors, however the establishment must follow all guidelines set forth by the City and State.

Alcoholic Beverages

  • Restaurants and bars: Restaurants, bars, breweries, and event venues can serve alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption and to-go between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.
  • Packaged liquor: Packaged liquor sales in the French Quarter and CBD is limited to the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Not Allowed

  • Block parties
  • Second lines and parades
  • Dance clubs

The new gathering size limits come as New Orleans continues to make progress in the battle against COVID-19.

Case counts, transmission rate and positivity rate have all been on the decline for more than eight weeks. New Orleans has also had one of the most effective vaccine rollouts in the country.

Governor John Bel Edwards has eased many of the restrictions that the state was previously under for his new order starting Wednesday, March 31. 

Limitations on bar and restaurant service are being completely lifted and will defer to local ordinances. 

"Restaurants, bars, gyms, retail settings will no longer have an occupancy limit," Edwards said.

Bars are still required to serve customers while they are seated at tables.

Large event settings will be capped at 50 percent. There is no cap on outdoor settings.

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