Most Louisiana businesses and schools will be allowed to expand their operations under the new regulations set by Gov. John Bel Edwards’ latest executive order moving the state into phase three of its reopening plan.
Bars can also reopen with several stipulations, Edwards announced at an afternoon news conference. Bars can open only in those parishes reporting a 5% or less COVID-19 test positivity rate for two straight weeks. They must close at 11 p.m., with the last call for drinks at 10 p.m. Additionally, they are restricted to 25% customer capacity, with up to 50 customers indoors. Outdoor bar spaces are also limited to 50 customers, and all bar patrons must be seated at tables and receive tableside service from bar staff, rather than ordering at the counter.
Currently, only five out of the state’s 64 parishes meet the testing requirement to reopen bars.
Louisiana School Superintendent Cade Brumley told USA Today Network today that phase three will allow systems to increase their school bus occupancy from 50% to 75%, allow group sizes to expand from 25 to 50 and allow students to participate in band and choir.
Restaurants, salons and other businesses and churches will be able to increase their occupancy from 50% to 75%. However, restaurants must also stop on-premises alcohol sales at 10 p.m. Indoor and outdoor gatherings can now have up to 250 people. Watch the governor’s news conference on the new order here.