Business owners in New Orleans’ hard-hit hospitality industry are excited about the extended city-wide operating hours Mayor Cantrell announced today as part of the modified Phase Three guidelines put in place in response to COVID-19.
Effective 6 p.m. Friday, April 9, bars, restaurants and other venues will be able to sell alcoholic beverages between the hours of 6 a.m. and 1 a.m., an addition of two hours in the evening. Service and sales of alcoholic beverages, whether for consumption on or off premises shall only occur between the hours of 6 a.m. and 1 a.m. in establishments located in the Central Business District and French Quarter entertainment district. Those boundaries include the Mississippi River, the center line of Esplanade Avenue, the center line of Rampart Street and the center line of Common Street.
“Like so many bars and restaurant owners in New Orleans, I am relieved that the 11 p.m. cutoff for alcohol services has been pushed to 1 a.m. Our infection rates are low; vaccination rates are steadily increasing; and we are all prepared to continue serving our guests in a safe manner like we have when allowed during the duration of the pandemic,” said Neal Bodenheimer, owner of Cure, Val’s on Freret, and Cane and Table.
“We are grateful to the Governor and Mayor for acknowledging that we are entering a new phase of the pandemic and adjusting policy so that we can start the delicate process of rebuilding our businesses and rehiring our teams,” he continued.
Unfortunately, more than 780 New Orleanians lost their lives due to COVID-19. The City continues to make progress in battling the pandemic. As of April 9, case counts, transmission rate and positivity rate have all been in a decline for more than 9 weeks. The current positivity rate is under 1%. The transmission rate is well below 1.0 and case counts are averaging below 50 cases per day. Finally, more than 37% of Orleans Parish residents have received at least one vaccine shot, with nearly 25% fully vaccinated.
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