Governor announces cautious move into Phase 3
On Thursday, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that Louisiana would be moving into Phase 3 of reopening. His official order, released on Friday afternoon, included the following:

  • The statewide mask mandate will remain in place.
  • Restaurants, spas, salons, gyms and many other businesses can now operate at 75% capacity – if they can maintain social distancing.
  • Indoor social gatherings will be limited to the lesser of 250 people or 50% capacity of the facility. Outdoors, crowd sizes are limited to 50 percent capacity, up to 250 people, if people will be in close proximity and social distancing is not possible. 
  • Bars in parishes where the COVID-19 positivity rate is 5% or below for four weeks can open if parish leaders allow. Currently, 5 out of the state’s 64 parishes meet this requirement and could opt in for bars to reopen, including Bienville, Jeff Davis, Orleans, St. John and Plaquemines.
  • Bars must close at 11 p.m., with the last call for drinks at 10 p.m.
  • Bars are restricted to 25% customer capacity, with up to 50 customers indoors. Outdoor bar spaces are also limited to 50 customers, and all bar patrons must be seated at tables and receive tableside service from bar staff, rather than ordering at the counter.  
  • No live music will be allowed in bars. When re-opened, no one under the age of 21 is permitted in any bar.
  • Restaurants must also stop on-premises alcohol sales at 10 p.m.
  • Casinos will stay at 50% capacity and 75% of their gaming positions. They will also be required to end on-site alcohol sales at 10 p.m.
  • Sporting events, like college football games, will operate at a lesser capacity of 25% and without alcohol sales.

Read more details in the Governor’s full announcement here. The State Fire Marshal’s office and the Louisiana Department of Health will also share information with businesses at OpenSafely.la.gov

Hurricane Laura Relief Fund for hospitality workers 
The Louisiana Travel Association (LTA) and Louisiana Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (LACVB) are partnering with the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation to raise funds to support hospitality industry workers affected by Hurricane Laura.

On behalf of our 800+ LTA members and 33 LACVB members, we are constantly striving to strengthen Louisiana’s travel industry – and that need for support is never more evident than in the wake of a crisis. Hospitality workers from hotels, restaurants, CVBs, attractions, etc. in Southwest Louisiana and beyond who have lost homes and belongings, need assistance.

We have seen first-hand the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation’s ability to quickly mobilize for emergency aid and provide crisis grants to those in need. Please join us in donating to this regional relief effort that will directly impact individuals from the travel industry. Our hope is for the travel industry to rally and help get this fund off the ground so that crisis grants can be awarded in the near future.
Apply for disaster relief volunteer help through AmeriCorps 
For those in areas of Louisiana affected by Hurricane Laura and in need of volunteer assistance, consider applying for help through the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). The NCCC is a team-based community service program that engages young adults to help in areas of natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation and urban and rural development. NCCC team members can help with coordinating volunteers; managing distribution centers and shelters; preparing and distributing meals; clearing debris; enrolling victims into emergency-assistance databases; mucking and gutting; surveying community assets; and more. 
UPCOMING IMPORTANT DATES
Main Street Recovery funds available 
The Main Street Recovery Program is awarding grants through the Department of Treasury to Louisiana small businesses to assist in their recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19. Eligible businesses can apply for up to $15,000 in grants to cover costs incurred to meet public health requirements and Business interruption costs. To learn more about this financial assistance program or to begin the application process, visit louisianamainstreet.com.