The City of New Orleans today (March 21) announced that the public health guidelines requiring proof of full vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter certain establishments have been lifted as of 6 a.m. today.
Residents and visitors are no longer required to provide proof of full vaccination or a recent negative test to enter bars, restaurants, event spaces, and other businesses previously covered under the regulations.
“This is a critical and welcome milestone,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “I am deeply grateful to our entire community — our residents, our business owners, and our hospitality industry — for coming together to make this day possible. It could not have happened without our people taking the guidelines seriously and helping us not only flatten the curve — but emerge from the pandemic as a safe destination city. With the return of Mardi Gras this year, we were able to celebrate safely. And now we are ready for this next step. We will continue to closely monitor the data, and remain guided by science.”
The New Orleans Department of Health has been monitoring COVID-19 metrics since Mardi Gras Day during this tim. According to officials, reported cases in Orleans Parish remain at very low levels, and hospital capacity is robust. Wastewater testing results correlate these findings of low viral transmission.
However, officials warn that future surges are possible and urge residents to continue mitigation strategies, including testing, masks, and vaccinations.
Mask requirements will continue where federally mandated, such as on public transportation and healthcare facilities.
“Throughout this pandemic, we’ve implemented the tools available and educated the public about the dangers of this virus, and we feel confident this approach has saved lives and kept our economy open,” said Dr. Jennifer Avegno, Health Department director.