Due to COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations reaching a statewide record high, the City of New Orleans yesterday announced a Modified Phase One, with reduced capacity limits and gathering restrictions, which will go into effect Friday, Jan. 8 at 6 a.m. and will last for three weeks.

The percent of positive tests, which was just over 5% for the last two weeks, forcing bars to close indoors, has now skyrocketed to over 10% in just one week. Average daily cases have increased exponentially from roughly 30 throughout most of the fall months to now over 200. Hospitalizations reached an all-time record yesterday statewide, with more COVID patients admitted than in April of last year. For these reasons, it is necessary to take immediate action to slow the spread of COVID-19 in all sectors.

The Modified Phase One will begin in Orleans Parish at 6 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 8, with the following major changes:

  • Gatherings and special events will not be allowed except for people who live together in a single household.
  • All indoor activities will be reduced to 25% of permitted occupancy.
  • Indoor and outdoor sporting events will be reduced to 4% of permitted occupancy.
  • Tables – at restaurants, or outdoor seating at bars or breweries – will be limited to 6 people and everyone must be from the same household.

For a full list of current guidelines please visit the website here.

In addition to these further restrictions the City of New Orleans has announced the extension of the Parklet Pilot program which promotes outdoor drinking and dining options for residents as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the start of the occupancy restrictions, the City has waived fees and expanded Outdoor Dining options for restaurants and bars.

The application fee will be waived until March 31, 2021. The City is providing water-filled barricades to parklet applicants on a first come, first served basis. Grants up to $2,000 towards parklet expenses (including heaters for these colder months) are available through a partnership between the City and NOLABA. There are currently 40 grants available.

The second round of grants began Monday, Nov. 2. The design guidelines, the permit application, and the grant information can all be found at nola.gov/parklet.

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