BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — Gov. John Bel Edwards’ proclamation moving the state to Phase 3 of the COVID-19 reopening will go into effect tonight, Sept. 11 and will be in effect until Oct. 9. When it does, it will ease some restrictions on businesses and will allow a limited number of bars to reopen.
Specifically, most businesses that are already open will now be allowed to increase their occupancy to 75% while open, with social distancing and the mask mandate still in effect.
A limited number of bars will be able to open, only in parishes that have fallen to a COVID-19 positivity rate of 5% or below over two consecutive weeks. Louisiana Department of Health Asst. SEcretary Dr. Alex Billioux said this will likely only apply to five parishes across Louisiana, though he did not point out which five. Parish governments will then have to opt-in to allow bars to reopen. Those bars allowed to open will have to follow these restrictions:
- Capacity indoors will be limited to 25% and outdoors at 50% with no more than 50 customers outdoors.
- Drinks may only be ordered and delivered seated at tableside.
- Live music will still not be allowed.
- All drink sales will end at 10 p.m. with bars to be emptied of customers by 11 p.m.
- No customers under 21 will be allowed. A spike of COVID-19 in people ages 18-21 has driven this decision.
- If a parish reaches 10% COVID-19 positivity or higher, bars will close again.
Other social gatherings will be limited to 250 people, indoors or outdoors. Indoor capacity is limited to 50%.
Casinos will also stay at 50% of occupancy with 75% of tables available.
All alcohol sales statewide must end at 10 p.m. That includes bars, casinos, reception halls, events and restaurants.
Sporting events, including high school football, will be limited to 25% occupancy with social distancing still in effect. Alcohol sales will not be allowed at sporting events.
Edwards said the current restrictions on nursing home visitations will not change, though the Louisiana Department of Health is working on a pilot program that may allow outdoor visits in the coming weeks. More details to come on that matter.
Edwards said the state won’t get any higher than Phase 3 until the pandemic ends.