Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards formally declared that Louisiana will enter into Phase Two of its Roadmap to a Resilient Louisiana. The new rules take effect June 5 and run for three weeks, like the first phase. Under the second phase, restaurants, retailers and other businesses that have been operating at 25% capacity for the past two weeks can up their capacity to 50%.
Bars can operate at 25% capacity of seated occupants, according to Edwards, the first time bars without food permits have been allowed to operate since mid-March. Casinos can go to 50% capacity with 75% of gaming positions operating, if they get plans approved by the Gaming Control Board.
The second phase also allows pool halls, bowling alleys, tattoo parlors, recreational pools and spas to reopen with additional restrictions.
Since Edwards began the first phase of reopening, on May 15, bars that serve food have been treated like restaurants — able to serve dine-in customers at 25% capacity. But those without food permits have still been shuttered.
Churches, casinos, retailers, shopping malls and barber shops, among other businesses, have also been allowed to operate at a quarter of their occupancy, which Edwards has said is aimed at keeping social distancing in place to limit the spread of the virus.
These protocols are aligned with President Trump’s Opening Up America Again guidelines.
- All vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents.
- All individuals, when in public (e.g., parks, outdoor recreation areas, shopping areas), should maximize physical distance from others. Social settings of more than 50 people, where appropriate distancing may not be practical, should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed.
- Non-essential travel can resume.
- Continue to encourage telework, whenever possible and feasible with business operations.
- Close common areas where personnel are likely to congregate and interact, or enforce moderate social distancing protocols.
- Strongly consider special accommodations for personnel who are members of a vulnerable population.
- Schools and organized youth activities (e.g., daycare, camp) can reopen.
- Visits to senior care facilities and hospitals should be prohibited. Those who do interact with residents and patients must adhere to strict protocols regarding hygiene.
- Large venues (e.g., sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship) can operate under moderate physical distancing protocols.
- Elective surgeries can resume, as clinically appropriate, on an outpatient and in-patient basis at facilities that adhere to CMS guidelines.
- Gyms can remain open if they adhere to strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols.
- Bars may operate with diminished standing-room occupancy, where applicable and appropriate.