FAQ: Questions related to Louisiana’s Phase 3 of reopening

FAQ: Questions related to Louisiana’s Phase 3 of reopening
Governor John Bel Edwards announced Thursday that Louisiana will move into Phase 3 of recovery Friday.

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The information below was provided by the Louisiana Office of the Governor. If you have additional questions, you can call 211.

Starting Monday, July 13, Louisiana will be under a statewide mask mandate. Additionally, Governor Edwards has restricted bars from serving customers inside. To learn more about these additional restrictions, CLICK HERE.

Is the state still under a Stay-at-Home order?

A: On Monday, May 11, Gov. Edwards announced that the state will no longer be under a stay-at-home order effective Friday, May 15. High risk individuals should continue to stay at home, except for essential activities, like getting food or medical care.

“Louisianans who are at high risk of dying from COVID-19, including the elderly, residents of long-term care facilities and those with poor control of certain illnesses, should continue to stay at home and only leave their homes only for essential reasons, like seeking medical care, going to an essential job or getting food.”

The initial stay-at-home order took effect on Monday, March 23. On April 2, Gov. Edwards extended his stay-at-home order until April 30. On Monday, April 27, Gov. Edwards extended the order again.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE: Guidelines for Opening America Again

How long will Phase 3 last?

A: Phase 3 will start on Friday, Sept. 11 and will be in effect for 28 days expiring on October 9.

What are the new guidelines for Phase 3?

A: General businesses (including but not limited to restaurants, churches, salons, spas, and gyms) can move to a maximum of 75% occupancy, but with social distancing required.

  • Bars will remain closed to on-premises consumption in parishes with high incidents of COVID-19. The parishes that have a positivity rate of 5% or lower for two consecutive weeks will be allowed to opt in, meaning the parish government will have to make the final decision.
  • Bars that open will be subject to many restrictions, those that open will be able to open up to 25% capacity up to a max of 50 people indoors.
  • Customers will have to remain seated for table side service only, can have no more than 50 customers outdoors, and social distancing will be required for indoors and outdoors, live music will not be allowed, all drinks will have to be ordered at the table and delivered by bar staff to the table, sale of service of alcohol at bars will end at 10 p.m. and patrons will be cleared from the building by 11 p.m. Individuals younger than 21 will not be allowed in the bar.
  • Other indoor social gatherings will be limited to 50% capacity with a max of 250 people. Social distancing requirements will go along.
  • Outdoor crowd sizes are limited to 50% capacity of the outdoor space with up to 250 people if social distancing isn’t possible.
  • Casinos will stay at 50% capacity and 75% gaming positions.
  • Alcohol sales for on-premises consumption at all venues will end at 10 p.m., included at restaurants, event centers, reception centers, casinos, and bars.
  • Sporting events will operate at 25% with social distancing required and without alcohol sales.
  • The statewide mask mandate will remain in place.
  • There is no change to nursing home visitation.

Who is considered an essential worker?

Under the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the following individuals are considered essential workers:

  • Healthcare workers and caregivers
  • Mental health and Social Service workers
  • Pharmacy employees
  • Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies, and other retail sales of food and beverage products
  • Restaurant carryout and quick-serve food operations and food delivery employees
  • Farm workers
  • Electricity and utility industry employees
  • Critical manufacturing employees (medical supply chains, energy, transportation, food, chemicals)
  • Petroleum, natural and propane gas workers
  • Transportation and logistics workers
  • Communications and information technology employees

What businesses and jobs are considered essential?

Healthcare workers, public safety employees, some government workers, staff of grocery stores and restaurants, and employees of some business are generally considered essential workers. Businesses like manufacturers and utilities have to continue operations to support our communities.

In general, the State of Louisiana follows guidance from the federal Cyber security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) about what infrastructure and businesses are “critical” during the COVID-19 outbreak. For more detailed information from CISA, click here.

When is it okay for me to leave my home?

People can leave their homes to do things like buy groceries or food, pick up medicine, or go to work if their job is essential. If you have to go out, make sure you practice social distancing measures and keep 6 feet between you and the people around you. Also, people are encouraged to go outside and to stay active during this time, as long as they practice social distancing when they are around their neighbors.

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