As of September 11, Louisiana began Phase Three of reopening. However, at this time, the city of New Orleans will remain in Phase Two. A statewide mask mandate remains in place.

The importance of following the citywide rules during this time cannot be overstated. Wearing a mask or face covering is mandatory statewide when out in public. The mask mandate exists to not only keep you safe but to make sure our local hospitality workers are safe, as well. If you are in need of a mask or face covering, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite local spots to buy masks here, or you can check out Sew Dat, which provides free masks for essential workers.

Currently, there are no travel restrictions or quarantine requirements for travelers or individuals entering the state of Louisiana.

What is Phase Two?

Phase Two: Safer  at  Home  is the  second  phase following the City of New Orleans' Phase One Stay-At-Home mandate. Phases for a safe reopening are closely aligned with those set by the State of Louisiana and the White House. 

A few important  highlights  from Phase Two to keep in mind: 

  • Every person  must  wear a mask or face covering while in public, unless you are performing outdoor recreation.  

  • Indoor social gatherings (such as parties and weddings) are limited to 25 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower; outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people, even in outdoor parks and spaces.  

  • For the time being, all sales of to-go alcohol from both bars and restaurants are prohibited. Alcohol sales are still permitted when dining in restaurants.

  • Conference venues and meeting rooms are  limited to 50% capacity or 250  people, whichever is fewer.

  • Individuals must continue to practice social distancing and wash hands often.  

  • Seniors and people with serious medical conditions should continue to stay home, as well as anyone who is feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19. 

What Types of Businesses Are Open During Phase Two? 

  • Retail stores and shopping malls   

  • Restaurants and cafés (with reservations at restaurants strongly encouraged)  

  • Beauty salons, barbershops, and nail salons (by appointment only)  

  • Tattoo, massage, and  esthetician  services (by appointment only) 

  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums (by reservation only and with no tactile exhibits)  

  • Gyms and fitness centers, including group fitness classes 

  • Libraries  

  • Community centers 

Outdoor recreation spaces, including parks, playgrounds, and sports complexes,  continue  to operate  following social distancing guidelines.

Outdoor live music is permitted, so long as the gathering is limited to 100 people  with one  safety officer, and  organizers  must  first  obtain a special event permit.

The following types of businesses will be operating under additional capacity limits and restrictions effective July 25, 2020:  

  • Restaurants – 50% capacity indoors. No seating at the restaurant bar. Patrons must wear masks unless actively eating or drinking. Tables must be six feet apart. Outdoor dining is allowed at full capacity as long as social distancing measures are in place. All restaurants and event venues are required to end the sale of alcohol at 11 p.m., in accordance with the guidelines established by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

  • Casinos, race tracks, and video poker establishments – 25%  capacity with 50% of gaming tables open

  • Houses of worship – 50% capacity  or  250  people, whichever is fewer  

  • Movie theaters – 50% capacity or  250  people, whichever is fewer

  • Conference venues and meeting rooms – 50% capacity or 250  people, whichever is fewer 

  • Outdoor pools – 25% capacity based on deck size

  • Walking and bike tours – limited to 14 people or fewer (vehicle tours are prohibited at this time)

  • Event venues – 50% capacity or 25 people, whichever is fewer

What Types of Businesses Are Closed During Phase Two? 

The following operations  and activities  remain closed or prohibited  during Phase Two:  

  • Bars, breweries and distilleries (with or without Louisiana Department of Health food permit)* Note: some bars continue to offer food service as take out under a special permit, but no to-go alcohol sales will be permitted at this time.

  • Amusement parks 

  • Music/concert halls 

  • Fairs and festivals 

  • Trade shows 

  • Arcades 

  • Indoor playgrounds and play centers 

  • Indoor live performance venues 

  • Second lines and parades 

  • Cruise ships

What Can I Expect While Dining in a Restaurant? 

While planning to dine in at a New Orleans restaurant, it’s encouraged that you make a reservation in advance, especially since indoor seating is limited to  50% of the restaurant’s permitted occupancy, but also for contact tracing purposes. Outdoor seating is allowed while practicing social distancing.  

As for the dining experience, expect strict health measures to be taken on behalf of the business to keep you  and the staff  safe. This includes staggering reservations, spacing out tables more than six feet apart, and wearing masks while cooking and serving food. You can do your part by wearing your mask or face covering until you get to your designated table and begin eating or drinking. 

Do I Need to Wear a Mask at All Times? 

As part of both the state- and citywide mask mandate, it is required that individuals wear a mask or face covering at all times while in public, unless you are exercising or seated at a table in a restaurant. This rule does not apply to children under two years old and anyone who has trouble breathing. While this will not be enforced by police, a business does have the right to refuse service for patrons not adhering to this rule.

Do I Need a Reservation to Visit an Attraction or Restaurant? 

For dining in restaurants within Orleans Parish, a reservation is strongly recommended. If you don’t have a reservation and are planning on dining in a restaurant or visiting a bar, whether outdoor or indoor, be prepared to provide contact information (name and phone number) for contact tracing purposes.   

As for visits to museums, zoos, aquariums, and other indoor cultural attractions, admission will be staggered using an online reservation system. Call or visit the attraction’s website to book your reservation in advance.  

What Safety Precautions are Attractions Taking? 

All businesses and institutions must register with the Louisiana State Fire Marshal to receive sector-specific guidelines for reopening and a certificate of Acknowledgement of Registration, which will be posted and visible on all entrances. This certificate is a physical reminder to visitors that these businesses are following all government guidelines for increased sanitation and safety practices, including personal protective equipment for employees and detailed cleaning protocols.

What About Public Gatherings?

According to city government, outdoor gatherings are limited  to 50 people, and indoor gatherings to 25.  One safety control officer  should be  provided per 50 people per State Fire Marshal guidelines, even in outdoor parks and spaces.  Gatherings  not at a permitted special event venue must obtain a special event permit from the  city.

How Long Will Phase Two Last?

In Orleans Parish, there is no  official  end date for Phase  Two. The number of cases, hospitalizations, and public health capacity over the next few weeks will determine  whether or not  and at what time  we can  enter  Phase  Three. 

NOLA Ready Resources

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  • New Orleans Updates (Effective 7/13)
  • NOLA Ready Additional Capacity Restrictions (effective 7/13)