Today, Governor John Bel Edwards announced that Louisiana will be moving into Phase 1 on Friday, May 15. The decision was made after consultation with Office of Public Health (OPH) epidemiologists, as well as other health officials and professionals across the state. The order will be effective statewide. The stay-at-home order will be lifted for everyone, but officials continue to encourage those vulnerable individuals to stay home as much as possible. The 10-person gathering restriction will be lifted, however, the White House plan for Opening Up America Again advises avoiding socializing in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate social distancing and we will continue to encourage everyone to abide by this guidance. While the proclamation will not require the general public to wear masks when they are in public like other states have, citizens are strongly encouraged to wear masks when they are in public – not to protect themselves, but to protect other people around them.
Additionally, the proclamation will provide for the following:
Churches will be able to conduct indoor service at 25% of their State Fire Marshal (SFM) capacity, with continued allowance for additional outdoor seating with SFM guidance on social distancing. In line with this, indoor funerals and weddings may resume indoor at 25% capacity of the building and may continue outdoor services with no crowd size limitation as long as social distancing is practiced.
All non-CISA and non-closed businesses will be able to be open to the public at 25% of their State Fire Marshal capacity.
Restaurants, coffee shops, and cafes will be able to be open to the public for indoor table service at 25% of their State Fire Marshal capacity, with continued allowance for additional outdoor seating with SFM guidance on social distancing.
Bars that hold an LDH food service certificate will be able to do or take-out and delivery of food and alcohol and dine-in seating in line with State Fire Marshal guidance on social distancing for restaurants, with no more than 25% of their State Fire Marshal capacity. No on-site consumption will be allowed if not seated at State Fire Marshal approved seating.
Gyms and fitness centers will be allowed to be open to the public at 25% of their capacity. The State Fire Marshal and Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) will be issuing guidance on social distancing and sanitization.
Anchor stores of shopping malls with exterior doors accessible by the public will be allowed to be open to the public at 25% of their State Fire Marshal capacity. Interior mall stores can continue to offer their goods for sale to the public for curbside delivery only.
Movie theaters may be open to the public at 25% of their State Fire Marshal capacity, with new guidance from State Fire Marshal and LDH on social distancing and sanitation.
Casinos and video poker may be open in line with guidance from Gaming Control Board and the Louisiana Racing Commission and at no more than 25% of their capacity and gaming positions. Racetracks may open for races without spectators only if approved by the Louisiana Racing Commission.
Museums, zoos, and aquariums may be open to the public at 25% of their capacity, with no organized tours and no tactile exhibits. Children’s museums remain closed.
Barbers, hair salons, and nail salons may be open to the public at 25% of their capacity with SFM guidance on social distancing.
Massage establishments, spas, tattoo parlors, and all other places of public amusement from 52 JBE 2020 remain closed.
With summer approaching, many of you are receiving questions around youth baseball and summer camps. While these things have not been prohibited in previous orders or this one, the State Fire Marshal and LDH are working on social distancing and sanitization guidance for these sorts of events.