City Will Allow Bars to Open Indoors on Friday

Virus Outbreak Mardi Gras
People in costume walk past a shuttered bar on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans announced that new COVID-19 guidelines will go into effect at 6 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 19, allowing bars and breweries to resume indoor service at 25% of their permitted occupancy.

Since the City eased restrictions and reentered a “modified phase two” on Jan. 29, the case counts, positivity rate, and transmission rate in New Orleans have all decreased, allowing for further easing of some restrictions. Bars and breweries will be allowed to operate indoors at 25% capacity as long as the positivity rate in Orleans Parish remains below 5%. Bars can only be open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., per state proclamation.

Recent local and national cases of the UK, South African, and Brazilian variant strains of SARS-COV-2 continue to cause concern for local public health officials. Therefore, the current limit on gathering sizes for parties, special events, weddings, etc., will remain as is – indoor gatherings limited 10 people and outdoor gatherings limited to 25 with masking and social distancing required in both settings.

These guidelines will be in place for a minimum of three weeks beginning at 6 a.m. on Feb. 19.

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