Louisiana continues to make progress as Governor John Bel Edwards announced he would be loosening the state's coronavirus restrictions.
Edwards lifted capacity limits on bars, restaurants, salons, gyms, and casinos while also lifting the 11 p.m. alcohol curfew that limited the hours of operation for businesses and venues that serve booze to their customers.
This means that the alcohol curfews around the state of Louisiana will now fall back to their respective local ordinances barring any change from local government.
According to LCG Chief Communications Officer Jamie Angelle, Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory doesn't have plans to implement any special alcohol curfew outside of what is currently on the books, so normal operating hours for bars and venues that serve alcohol in the parish will revert back to their normal 2 a.m. closing time.
While Gov. Edwards did loosen up the restrictions for these venues, he announced that direct table service would still be required at bars. The Lousiana governor also maintained some limits on crowd sizes at larger venues and sporting events, but ultimately warned residents that the mask mandate and strict distancing along with increased vaccinations were imperative in order to keep our progress trending in the right direction.
Edwards also announced that "a majority of our vulnerable residents are protected against the virus" but with expanded eligibility to those 16 and older the governor encouraged people to get their vaccinations by reminding them that "all y'all are eligible."
The loosened restrictions represent the fewest restrictions we've seen to date for businesses since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, but Edwards urged residents to continue observing social distancing as well as the mask mandate to not repeat the pitfalls we saw last year around Easter–one of the worst COVID spikes to date.
The new changes go into effect on Wednesday, March 31. To see more details, as well as Gov. Edwards' entire press conference, see the full story here.