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Live music returns, bars reopen statewide as Louisiana moves into Phase 3 Wednesday

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BATON ROUGE - Governor John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday the state will move into a modified phase 3 of its reopening plan.

The loosened set of restrictions will take effect statewide when the current phase 2 order expires Wednesday. The executive order is set to stay in effect for 28 days, through March 31.

Highlights of the new order include the following.

-Live music allowed to return.

-Most business can increase capacity to 75 percent. 

-All bars can open for indoor service at 25-percent capacity. Bars in parishes with positivity rates below 5 percent can increase to 50-percent capacity indoors.

-Indoor events limited to 50 percent but can allow up to 250 people at a time.

-Outdoor event venues can allow 50-percent capacity with social distancing enforced.

-No capacity limits on places of worship. 

-Gyms and fitness centers remain limited to 50 percent. 

Louisiana has been under 'modified phase 2' restrictions for the past three months. Edwards first pushed the state back days before Thanksgiving.

In Edwards' current 'modified phase 2' order, restaurants, retail stores, gyms, salons, and spas, could operate at 50-percent capacity. Tighter restrictions on bars have kept them closed or nearly-shuttered in several parishes.

Under the new executive order, all bars can reopen for indoor service with 25-percent capacity. Bars in parishes with a sustained positivity rate at 5 percent or lower for two straight weeks can allow 50-percent capacity indoors. Bar service still must end at 11 p.m. each night.

March 3 will also mark the first time live music will be allowed at venues since the onset of COVID-19 restrictions last year. The state fire marshal's office has established guidelines which also mandated attendees stay in their seats. 


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