Bourbon Street could soon be bustling again as New Orleans will allow the return of live music indoors starting Friday for the first time since the pandemic began.
“Live entertainment may be performed at bars, concert halls, music halls, live [performance] venues, and event venues following the capacity limits based on the business type,” the city’s phase three reopening plan explains.
Concert and music halls will be allowed to reopen at 75% capacity up to 250 people. Bars that host performers will be limited to 75 people and masks will still be required in public, but the new rules will still come as a welcome relief to struggling artists and musicians in the city.
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The spread of coronavirus has slowed precipitously in recent weeks. New Orleans currently has a test positivity rate of 1.5%, down from a high of 10.4% at the end of December.
“We were absolutely the hot spot, but did what was necessary,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell said at a news conference Wednesday. “It is important for us to embrace the positive news, for us to be proud of that, for us to continue to showcase that on a national scale.”
New Orleanians won’t be able to fully let loose yet though, as they’ll be required to say seated during live performances.
“Patrons must refrain from cheering or singing along, especially while not wearing masks,” the new rules that go into effect Friday explain. “Patrons are prohibited from dancing.”
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New Orleans will look to completely relax rules as more people get vaccinated. Currently, 21.4% of New Orleans residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 11.9% are fully vaccinated.