Gov. Edwards: Phase 3 Will Last “Until A Vaccine is Widely Available”

Governor John Bel Edwards at his 4/30 press conference.

Gov. John Bel Edwards released guidelines today for what Phase 3 may look like across much of Louisiana, but it may not be as much of a “return to normal” as many had hoped.

“We all want to see a return to normalcy, but it is going to take all of us working together to get us there,” Edwards said in a press release Friday afternoon. “There are still some looming factors that could come to bear on the fragile gains that we have made including students returning to schools at all levels, the outcome of the Labor Day weekend, and the displacement of thousands of residents by Hurricane Laura fro an area that had among the highest case counts in the state. If we see a spike in cases, we may be forced to go back to  a more restrictive Phase 2.”

In Phase 3:

  • Statewide mask mandate remains in place
  • Indoor social gatherings will be limited to 250 people or 50 percent capacity of the venue, whichever is less.
  • Outdoor social gatherings will be limited to 50 percent capacity, 250 people maximum, if social distancing is not possible.
  • Restaurants, churches, salons, spas, gyms, and other businesses will be allowed to operate at a maximum 75 percent capacity, with social distancing measures in place.
  • Casinos will remain at 50 percent capacity and 75 percent of their gaming positions
  • No alcohol sales at sporting events
  • Sporting event venues must operate at 25 percent capacity
  • No establishment, including bars, restaurants, and casinos, will be allowed to serve alcohol after 10 p.m.

In order for bars to re-open for on-premises consumption, the parish must have a positivity rate of five percent or lower for a two-week period before the local parish government is allowed to opt-in. The next scheduled update from the Louisiana Department of Health is scheduled for September 16th.

Once allowed to reopen, bars will have the following restrictions:

  • 25 percent capacity for indoor tableside service, up to 50 people
  • No more than 50 customers outdoors, socially distanced, seated for tableside service
  • All drinks must be ordered at the table and delivered to the table by bar staff
  • No live music
  • Sale and service of alcohol must end at 10 p.m.
  • The building must be emptied by 11 p.m.

“I want people to be realistic,” Gov. Edwards said. “Phase 3, with perhaps some relatively minor modifications, is likely where we stay until a vaccine is widely available.”

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