Phase III in Louisiana

As of Friday, September 11, 2020, the state of Louisiana has entered Phase III – shorthand for the last in a three-stage commerce reopening process from the White House’s Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, which was released in April. Louisiana’s entrance into Phase III is modified from the White House plan. 

Pursuant to the governor’s latest Proclamation on reopening, the following changes are in effect for non-essential businesses, allowing greater business operation throughout the state:  

  • Bars may open for on-site consumption of food or beverages under the following limitations: 
    • It must be located in a parish that has a COVID-19 positivity percentage of 5% or less for two consecutive weeks (no Capital Region parishes qualify for this as of September 14, 2020) and the governing authority of the parish must opt-into allowing bars to reopen.  
    • Bars may not exceed the lesser of 25% Fire Marshal capacity or 50 patrons;
    • Outdoor service may not exceed 50 persons;  
    • All service of alcohol must cease at 11 p.m., and bars must close by 11 p.m.;
    • All patrons must be seated at tables; 
    • All service must be provided at tables;  
    • Social distancing must be provided;  
    • Only persons over age 21.  
  • Places of amusement are still barred from reopening, but may submit a reopening plan with specific proposals for occupancy and sanitization to the State Fire Marshal, who is authorized to approve such plans and allow reopening; 
    • No occupancy limit above 50% capacity will be approved;  
  • Restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops may expand occupancy to 75%;  
    • Social distancing must be provided;  
    • Patrons may only wait outside the premises;  
    • All service of alcohol shall be provided only between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.;
  • Salons, Beauty, and Barber Shops may expand occupancy to 75%;  
    • Patrons may only wait outside the premises;  
  • Shopping malls may expand occupancy to 75%; 
  • Gyms and fitness centers may expand occupancy to 75%; 
  • Stadiums, sports complexes, and arenas hosting athletic events may operate at an occupancy rate of up to 25%; 
    • Alcohol sales are prohibited within these locations; 
    • Face covering are required for all attendees and spectators; 
  • Event centers and reception halls may operate at the lesser of 50% occupancy or 250 people; 
    • Patrons at events shall be seated and socially distanced;  
    • Congregating groups shall be household members;  
    • Members of the public must wait outside;  
    • Onsite sale and service of alcoholic beverages shall occur only between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.   
  • Occupancy and gaming position rules for Casinos, Racetracks, and Video Poker Establishments have not changed; and, 
  • All other non-essential businesses not specifically listed may expand occupancy to 75%. 
  • Finally, the statewide mask mandate remains in place.  
Liz Smith

As BRAC’s senior vice president of economic competitiveness, Liz leads the organization’s public policy advocacy, strategy, research, and reform activities aimed at advancing the quality of life and economic competitiveness of the Baton Rouge Region.

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