Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced today (Thursday, Oct. 16) that the City of New Orleans will continue its phased reopening plan by moving into Phase 3.2 at 6 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, which will further ease restrictions on audience size, bars and breweries, and live entertainment
“We are encouraged by our residents’ response to our guidelines in continuing the gradual reopening of the City, the low numbers of case rates and hospitalizations, and the strengthening of our local economy as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cantrell says. “We hope to move from Phase 3.2 to Phase 3.3 in the same time frame, but to do that we have to adhere to the mandatory wearing of face coverings and practicing the social distancing needed now more than ever with the easement of these restrictions. New Orleans is coming back strong, and we can’t go back or go back and forth.”
New Orleans Health Department Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno says New Orleans and its residents continue to meet all of our public health milestones, including case numbers, positivity rates, testing, and hospital capacity since Phase 3 started two weeks ago.
“That indicates slow COVID-19 disease growth in Orleans Parish and allows us to continue to ease restrictions for activities that have been shown locally to have a relatively low risk of outbreak or community spread, activities that are outdoors, and timed and seated events,” Dr. Avegno says. “We’ve also given special consideration to bringing back jobs for residents with the least impact on public health, and to ensuring that policies do not worsen inequities.”
All activities during the stages of Phase 3 must still include the crucial tenets of disease control, including the following:
- Masks are required in public, except during personal recreation.
- All activities allowed in Phase 3 must include strict social distancing.
- All businesses must follow the City and State guidelines for safe operations.
Changes in Phase 3.2, which will go into effect at 6 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, include the following:
- Indoor live entertainment will be allowed with a Special Event Permit in restaurants, indoor event venues, and concert halls. Singing, karaoke, and wind-blown instruments are prohibited indoors.
- Bars and breweries without LDH food permits will be allowed to have outdoor seating of 25 percent permitted occupancy or 50 individuals, whichever is fewer. Alcohol sales are limited to the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.
- Breweries with an LDH food permit will be allowed to have indoor seating of 25 percent of permitted occupancy and outdoor seating of 100 percent permitted occupancy or 50 individuals, whichever is fewer. Alcohol sales are limited to the hours of 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. City officials are making this provision because unlike bars, breweries are not eligible to apply for the State’s conditional restaurant permit.
- Houses of worship, movie theaters, and conference venues will be allowed to open for timed, seated events at 50 percent of permitted occupancy or 500 individuals, whichever is fewer.
- Outdoor stadiums and large arenas will be allowed to have 25 percent permitted occupancy or 500 individuals, whichever is fewer.
- Concert halls will be allowed to open for timed, seated events at 50 percent of permitted occupancy or 250 individuals, whichever is fewer, with approval from the State Fire Marshal and the City’s Department of Safety and Permits. Singing, karaoke, and wind-blown instruments are prohibited indoors and alcohol sales are limited to the hours of 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The City’s Phase 3.2 guidelines will also include an updated policy from the State of Louisiana, which requires that alcohol sales at restaurants be accompanied by food sales.