Even as his coronavirus restrictions are being challenged in court, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced yesterday that he’s extending Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate, business limitations and other rules he enacted to combat COVID-19 for another four weeks. House Republicans are trying to throw out all the restrictions and fully reopen state activities.
The governor has tweaked portions of the guidelines to allow some bar re-openings and larger crowds at high school football games. The restrictions being renewed allow restaurants, churches, gyms, shopping malls, salons and most other businesses to operate at 75% capacity. Tighter limits remain on bars, keeping them to takeout and delivery sales only, unless they operate in parishes where 5% or fewer of the coronavirus tests have come back positive in the last two weeks. In those parishes, bars can open for in-person, onsite drinking at 25% occupancy if local officials agree. An 11 p.m. curfew remains on alcohol sales at restaurants, bars and casinos. Concert halls and indoor live music venues remain strictly regulated on physical distancing among patrons, if they open at all.
A hearing in the ongoing litigation over the rules is scheduled for Nov. 12, after a judge refused to block Edwards from reissuing his public health emergency order.