City Officials Urge Caution This New Year’s as COVID Cases Rise

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Bars in Orleans Parish must close indoor seating at 11 p.m. today after two consecutive weeks increasing positivity rate. Outdoor seating and curbside pick-up options remain available.

City of New Orleans and local public safety officials are encouraging residents to exercise caution during New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day this year as COVID-19 continues to spread at a dangerous rate in New Orleans. 

“Just as with other holidays this year, we’ve had to significantly adjust what New Year’s celebrations will look like in New Orleans,” says Mayor LaToya Cantrell.  “That means no large parties, no riverfront fireworks, and no spectators at the fleur-de-lis drop. Please stay at home and ring in the New Year safely with the members of your immediate household.” 

Additional NOPD and New Orleans Emergency Medical Services presence will be provided in the Downtown and French Quarter areas on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day; however, residents are strongly urged to stay home. 

While New Orleans will host the televised “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” the event will be closed to the public and will not allow spectators. And there will not be a fireworks display along the riverfront this year. The City asks that residents and visitors to not attempt to gather near Jax Brewery, as the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) will block vehicle and pedestrian traffic in the surrounding area and will prevent crowds from forming.  

COVID-19 Restrictions Remain in Place

Residents and visitors who wish to dine or drink out in New Orleans are reminded of current COVID-19 restrictions in restaurants and bars.  

Restaurants operating in Orleans Parish are limited to 50 percent of indoor seating capacity with tables at least six feet apart. Restaurants must also stop selling alcohol at 11 p.m. nightly. Restaurant patrons must wear masks in restaurants at all times, except when actively eating or drinking.  

Due to an increasing positive case count in Orleans Parish that has exceeded five percent for two consecutive weeks, the state is requiring bars, breweries, and live adult entertainment venues to close indoor facilities beginning at 11 p.m. today, Wednesday Dec. 30. These facilities can continue to operate between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. with the sale of alcohol through drive thru, takeout, curbside pickup, or outdoor seating up to 50 people socially distanced.  

Please report business non-compliance or large gatherings by submitting online or calling 3-1-1 (504-658-2299). 

No Fireworks in Orleans Parish

The New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) also reminds residents and visitors that fireworks are illegal in Orleans Parish. Fire department officials are especially concerned that the use of illegal fire works might exacerbate an ongoing issue with several residential fires this holiday season that have displaced several local families.

A City-sponsored fireworks display will take place in New Orleans East at 8:30 p.m. Residents are asked to enjoy from their homes.