New Orleans Relaxes COVID-19 Rules, Will Investigate Crowds

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans officials say they’ll investigate crowds that gathered in the French Quarter after the city relaxed coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

Saturday was the first day that bars could have outdoor seats under guidelines set by Mayor LaToya Cantrell, who is taking a more gradual approach than the state.

Tweets on Sunday from the city’s official Twitter account said officials had been made aware of crowds gathering in the French Quarter and would enforce the rules, WWL-TV reported.

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Under the city’s guidelines, bars may have outdoor seats for up to 25% of their normal capacity or 50 people — whichever is smaller.

Police and the city’s code enforcement task force enforced the 11 p.m. curfew on alcohol takeout and sales “in the French Quarter and throughout the city,” it said.

“Businesses not in compliance with Phase 3.2 guidelines will be met with enforcement action,” another tweet said. “Our people have put in the work which has allowed us to ease restrictions, but actions that lead to super spreader events will not be condoned. We cannot go back.”

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The city did not mention enforcement against people making up crowds outside bars, the station noted.

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