(Photo: The intersection of Toulouse and Bourbon streets on March 9, 2020. | Infrogmation/CC)
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced on Tuesday that the city will enter “Phase 2” of reopening from COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on June 13, allowing bars without permits and outdoor pools to operate at 25% capacity with distancing requirements.
Phase 2 in New Orleans officially starts at 6 a.m. on June 13. The city is the last part of the state to move out of Phase 1 reopening. The rest of the state entered the second phase of reopening on June 5. The city entered Phase 1 reopening on May 16.
The next phase also increases the capacity to 50% for bars with food permits, barbers and hair salons and tattoo parlors, among other businesses.
Operations that continue to remain closed include festivals, indoor live entertainment venues and arcades.
The pandemic shutdown has particularly impacted the city’s hospitality industry workforce, which make up more than a quarter of jobs in the French Quarter, according to U.S. Census statistics, however the neighborhood is poised to spring back to life after allowing bars to reopen and increasing capacity in restaurants.
Cantrell issued a March 16 proclamation that closed the vast majority of businesses in the French Quarter — including bars, nightclubs and requiring restaurants to close in-dining spaces and switch to deliveries or to-go orders — in order to halt the spread of coronavirus.
The mayor planned a phased reopening of the city based on several factors. Phase 2 reopening factors include sustained and available testing, sufficient health care testing, effective contact tracing and no dramatic spikes in coronavirus cases.
The Louisiana Department of Health on Wednesday reported 7,247 cumulative cases of coronavirus and 513 deaths in Orleans Parish. The disease was first detected on March 9, according to New Orleans public health officials.
For complete information on Phase 2 reopening in New Orleans, visit ready.nola.gov.