Certain COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted In Louisiana, Mask Mandate Remains

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Governor John Bel Edwards is lifting certain COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and keeping a statewide mask mandate in place.

Edwards announced Tuesday he is lifting capacity limits for bars, restaurants, gyms, and retail settings, with bars allowed to stay open past 11 p.m. if they follow local ordinances. Social distancing in bars will remain in effect.

The governor told reporters state health officials are trying to strike a balance between lives and livelihoods.

City officials say New Orleans is not likely to follow Edwards' decision to ease restrictions immediately.

New Orleans' communications director Beau Tidwell says the city will review the latest decision before making changes, but that for now, capacity limits remain in place, adding anyone planning larger gatherings for this Easter weekend should be especially cautious.

Tidwell says the city does not expect to close any streets, but that they remain cautious.

In Jefferson Parish, President Cynthia Lee Sheng says they will follow the state's action and lift occupancy limits for businesses and restore regular operating hours for bars and restaurants.

In East Baton Rouge, alcohol sales end at 2 a.m. on most days.

The latest proclamation will stay in effect until April 28.

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