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City of New Orleans Imposes Strict Restaurant and Bar Curfew, Capacity Limits

The new rules follow a weekend of NOPD shutting down Bourbon Street and unofficial St. Patrick’s Day gatherings

Mardi Gras 2015 - Krewe Of Bacchus Parade
Bourbon Street in 2015
Photo by Skip Bolen/WireImage

After a weekend that saw NOPD breaking up unofficial St. Patrick’s Day gatherings in the Irish Channel and shutting down Bourbon Street on Saturday night, Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Sunday announced new limits on hours and capacity for New Orleans bars and restaurants due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Under the order, restaurants have to stop seating customers at 9 p.m. and limit the number of customers to no more than 50 percent of their posted capacity. Bars and nightclubs are also limited to 50 percent capacity, and all customers must be out by midnight with last call at 11:15 p.m. Hotel bars and restaurants are held to the same operating times and customer limits.

Restaurants can still offer delivery until their dining room normally closes, and fast-food restaurants are allowed to be open 24 hours a day, but are limited to drive-thru service at all times. Finally, employers are vaguely ordered to “continue to monitor employees and ask employees to regularly take their own temperature.”

The slew of new rules announced Sunday night follows a weekend of what many officials say was full of people flouting the ban on large gatherings in the city, which drew criticism online from fellow residents and city leaders alike.

Check back with Eater for a roundup of how New Orleans restaurants and bars are reacting to the new guidelines surrounding the novel coronavirus pandemic, and for a running list of New Orleans food events canceled or postponed as a result, see here.

UPDATE: March 16, 2020: The State of Louisiana has ordered all bars closed and restaurants limited to takeout service through April 13.

Do you know of a restaurant closing permanently or implementing indefinite changes due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic? Let us know.