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Gov. John Bel Edwards announced this afternoon that Louisiana will move to Phase 3 of reopening, loosening COVID-19 restrictions when the current order expires at midnight.
Louisiana began Phase 3 in September; however, the governor issued an order for the state to go back to a modified Phase 2 on November 25 when cases and hospitalizations were on the rise again.
In the new order:
- Restaurants, malls and most other businesses are allowed 75 percent capacity.
- Gatherings in indoor event halls are limited to 50 percent capacity, up to 250 people
- Outdoor events can operate at 50 percent capacity with no cap on attendance.
- Bars in all parishes are allowed 25 percent capacity indoor service. Bars in parishes below 5 percent positivity are allowed 50 percent capacity.
- Alcohol sales end at 11 p.m.
- Religious services DO NOT have capacity limits.
- Gyms and fitness centers remain at 50 percent capacity.
- Live music is allowed indoors. Business owners should visit https://opensafely.la.gov/ for more details.
- Indoor sporting events, fairs, conferences, conventions and festivals may operate at 50 percent capacity. They must submit a plan for approval by the fire marshal.
The mask mandate will stay in place, Edwards said.
The Phase 3 proclamation will expire on March 31.
This story will be updated.