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New Orleans Moves Into Phase 3.2 On Saturday

Ashley Dean
A sign outside Balcony Music Club in New Orleans. March 19, 2020.

Bar-patrons can once again be flies on the walls of their favorite watering holes — as long as that wall is outside.

Mayor Latoya Cantrell announced in a press release that New Orleans is easing COVID-19 restrictions on the city and moving into phase 3.2 on Oct. 17.

The looser restrictions will begin at 6 a.m. Saturday and allow bars with outdoor spaces to seat 25 percent of their outside areas or 50 guests, depending on which number is fewer people.

Breweries with food permits can fill 25 percent of their indoor seats and 100 percent of their outdoor spaces as long as it does not exceed 50 people.

Movie theaters, conference halls and houses of worship can host seated, timed events as long as the venues’ occupancy stays under 50 percent capacity with a maximum of 500 people.

Outdoor stadiums and arenas can welcome sports fans at 25 percent capacity with no more than 500 people.

Concert halls will have to get some added approval from the State Fire Marshal and the city’s Department of Safety and Permits to open for timed and seated events. Once given the OK, they are allowed 50 percent occupancy capped at 250 people.

Still, there is no singing, karaoke or playing of wind-blown instruments allowed indoors in phase 3.2. And alcohol will only be sold between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.

The eased limitations come two weeks after Phase 3 of the city’s plan to reopen was introduced. Mayor Cantrell expressed hopes to move on to phase 3.3 in a similar time frame.

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