More restaurants, churches, salons and gyms get okay to open Friday; LA enters 'phase 1'
BATON ROUGE- Governor John Bel Edwards announced Monday that the stay-at-home order will be lifted May 15 as the state transitions into 'Phase 1' of the reopening plan.
Statewide, restrictions of gatherings that include 10 people or more have been lifted and wearing masks in public is not required. While these precautions will no longer be mandatory, Gov. Edwards encourages everyone to continue observing them in order to protect themselves and others from the spread of COVID-19.
The governor's proclamation will allow for:
- Churches will be able to conduct indoor service at 25% of their State Fire Marshal 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 SFM 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 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 SFM and LDH on social distancing and sanitation.
- Casinos and video poker may open Monday, May 18, 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.
The governor added that while things like youth baseball and summer camps have not been prohibited, experts are "working on social distancing and sanitization guidance for these sorts of events."
The Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge also announced churches would reopen as early as this weekend for worship. The diocese said it expects all its parishes to be celebrating public Masses by the weekend of May 23. Those gatherings must abide by "strict directives regarding occupancy, social distancing and sanitary conditions."
An announcement concerning the next steps should come at the beginning of June, with phase one being in place for a minimum of 21 days.
Watch WBRZ newscasts Monday evening for team coverage on the governor’s announcement. WBRZ produces the most amount of local news in Baton Rouge, with weekday evening newscasts at 4, 5, 6, 6:30, 10 and 10:30 on WBRZ and WBRZ Plus.
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