Yesterday Gov. Edwards announced that Louisiana will move forward to Phase 3 effective today.
The announcement follows almost six weeks of improvements in the state’s COVID-19 case counts and a sustained decrease in COVID-related hospitalizations. The statewide mask mandate remains in place. The Governor’s new order will last for 28 days and will expire March 31, 2021.
The majority of businesses, including restaurants and salons, will be able to move to 75 percent capacity. 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, but social distancing is strongly encouraged, and masking will still be required. Gyms and fitness centers will remain at 50 percent of capacity. 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. 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 the Louisiana Department of Health.