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Coronavirus

Louisiana’s Bars and Spas to Reopen This Weekend

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has announced that he’s allowing bars and spas that have been shuttered because of the coronavirus outbreak to reopen this coming weekend, as he further eases restrictions on businesses in a state once one of the nation’s hot spots in the pandemic.

Edwards said Monday the state is “headed in the right direction,” but he cautioned its residents to remember that “there still is a lot of COVID out there.”

The latest loosening of the rules will start Friday, under the plans announced by the Democratic governor, and they will be in effect until June 26. They won’t take effect in New Orleans, however, where city officials say they want more time to gather data.

In the rest of Louisiana, bars, massage facilities, bowling alleys, recreational pools and tattoo shops will be able to restart operations, with heavy restrictions on how they interact with customers. Churches, restaurants, hair salons and other businesses that have reopened at 25% capacity since mid-May can move to 50% of their occupancy rate. Bars without a food permit will be restricted to 25% capacity, with patrons required to be seated.

The requirements outlined Monday are based on what are known as “Phase 2” reopening guidance issued by the White House.

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