The City of New Orleans today announced the progression to a modified version of Phase Three in response to encouraging data on the COVID-19 pandemic – including sustained decreasing case rates. The Modified Phase Three goes into effect at 6 a.m. Friday, March 12. The move comes as New Orleans has a case rate of 1.5% – one of the lowest in the state.
Starting Friday at 6 a.m., retail stores, restaurants, salons, tattoo parlors, movie theaters, museums, and offices in Orleans Parish will be allowed to increase to 75% capacity with social distancing and masking still required. Bars, breweries, gyms, fitness centers, and conference venues will be able to operate up to 50% capacity, again with social distancing and masking required. Concert and music halls with fixed, permanent seating will be allowed to increase to 75% capacity with a maximum of 250 people. These changes are aligned with the State of Louisiana’s Phase Three guidelines.
Indoor live entertainment will be allowed, but venues are encouraged to read the guidelines due to the specificity of some of the restrictions. Under the State rules, restaurants that host indoor live entertainment are required to decrease their capacity to 50% rather than the 75% allowed without live entertainment. All venues hosting live entertainment in New Orleans must obtain a Special Event Permit or a Certificate of Registration from the Department of Safety and Permits.