BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY)- Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed a proclamation easing some health-safety restrictions, thus moving the state to Phase 3.
Overall, Louisiana’s percent positivity for COVID-19 tests is 5 percent, one-third of the positivity rate six weeks ago, Edwards said. The state reports that it has completed more than 6 million COVID tests and administered more than 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.
With the new proclamation, Edwards said a statewide mask mandate will remain in place. Here are the following new guidelines:
- The majority of businesses, including restaurants and salons, will be able to move to 75 percent of their capacity and indoor gatherings and event centers will be capped at 50 percent of their capacity but limited to 250 people.
- Religious services will no longer have capacity limits, social distancing is strongly encouraged and masking will still be required.
- Gyms and fitness centers will remain at 50 percent of their capacity, based on recent research from the CDC that raises concern about the spread of COVID-19 in these settings.
- Bars in all parishes will be able to open for indoor service at 25 percent capacity, not to exceed 250 people, but those in parishes where the percent positivity is 5 percent or lower for two consecutive weeks may have indoor service at 50 percent capacity, not to exceed 250 people. Alcohol sales still must end at 11 p.m. and no one younger than 21 years old can enter a bar. Patrons must be masked at all times except when consuming food or drink, and they must be served at socially distanced tables.
- Live music will be allowed indoors under additional guidance provided by the State Fire Marshal. Indoor gatherings may operate at 50 percent capacity with a cap of 250 people.
- Outdoor events may operate at 50 percent of their capacity, with no cap on attendance, but six feet of social distancing must be practiced.
- Conventions, conferences, indoor sporting events and fairs and festivals may operate at up to 50 percent capacity with six feet of social distancing required, if they receive approval from the State Fire Marshal and LDH.
“Since we stepped back into more increased restrictions more than three months ago, the goal has been to slow the spread and avoid overwhelming our hospitals, which we have done thanks to the hard work of many Louisianans,” Gov. Edwards said in his announcement Tuesday. “These Phase 3 restrictions will keep some common sense and lifesaving limitations in place while we work to continue keeping the case counts down and administering the vaccines to as many Louisianans as quickly as we can.”