New Orleans (AP) — Bars in a handful of Louisiana parishes will be allowed to reopen under new, looser coronavirus restrictions announced Friday by Gov. John Bel Edwards.
Bars in the state have been closed since July unless they have licenses to operate as restaurants.
Under the guidelines announced Friday, bars in parishes where the percentage of positive COVID-19 deaths is 5% or below for four weeks can open if parish leaders give the OK, Edwards said.
Dr. Alex Billioux, an assistant state health secretary, estimated the criteria currently apply in only five of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, which are the equivalent of a county in other states. Bar openings won’t happen in New Orleans, where Mayor LoToya Cantrell is maintaining stricter rules, or in the state’s other large cities, which are in parishes that don’t yet meet the 5% threshold.
Bars that are allowed to open will have to shut down alcohol sales at 10 p.m. and close at 11 p.m. Those under 21 will not be allowed in bars.
Written by AP reporter Kevin McGill