Phase 3: Opening Safely
Recently, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that Louisiana will move into Phase 3 of the White House plan for reopening. Great news as this allows live music to be done both outdoors and indoors. Major changes in Phase 3 include expanded capacity for bars, restaurants and event venues. The mask mandate remains in place, and social distancing is encouraged.
The Louisiana Travel Association put together a comprehensive snapshot of what Phase 3 looks like for the tourism industry:
- Restaurants, cafés and coffee shops can now provide dine-in service at 75% of the total occupancy
- All buffets or other common food stations shall remain closed for self-service. However, restaurants that operate buffet-style may provide dine-in service if a restaurant employee is stationed at the buffet to serve dine-in customers.
- Gatherings in indoor event center are limited to 50% capacity, up to 250 people
- Indoor events should follow the restaurant guidance issued by the State Fire Marshal. Specifically, patrons at events should be seated and socially distanced.
- Specific guidance for conventions and conferences from the State Fire Marshall is now available.
- Rooms and spaces shall be limited to a maximum of 50% of the established capacity, and to 1 person per 30 square feet of net useable floor area, whichever is less.
- Convention and conference planners are required to submit a proposed plan to Open.Safely@la.gov for State Fire Marshal acceptance prior to scheduling. A response can be expected within 10 business days.
- Only conferences and conventions controlled by invitations, ticket sales, or by reservations are included in this phase.
- Detailed guidelines are included for live entertainment, group seating, exhibits, etc.
- Outdoor events may operate at 50 percent of their capacity, with no cap on attendance, but six feet of social distancing must be practiced
- Bars in parishes with a positivity rate below 5% will be allowed to open at 50% capacity
- Bars in parishes with a positivity rate above 5% will be allowed to open at 25% capacity
- Bars and restaurants cannot sell alcohol after 11 p.m.
- At casinos, no more than 75% of gaming positions shall be in use at any one time, and all utilized gaming positions shall be at least 6 feet apart from one another or as otherwise authorized by the Gaming Control Board.
- The following businesses must submit a proposal to the State Fire Marshal before reopening: places of public amusement, including but not limited to, locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, splash pads, water parks, trampoline parks, arcades, fairs and festivals, children's play centers, indoor playgrounds, theme parks, concert and music halls.
Business leaders can visit OpenSafely.la.gov to receive guidance and updates from the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Louisiana Department of Health.