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What New Orleans’s Stay-at-Home Order Means for Restaurants

The directive closes nonessential businesses but allows for restaurants to continue takeout and drive-thru services

States Act To Close All Bars, Restaurants And Gyms To Limit Spread Of Coronavirus
A Lucky Dog vendor leaves Bourbon Street on Monday, March 16 2020
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a stay-at-home (also known as shelter-at-home) order for the city in a press conference on Friday afternoon, March 20, closing all nonessential businesses except for healthcare providers, groceries, and restaurants offering takeout and drive-thru services, among others.

“We are moving towards limited functions and operations,” said Mayor Cantrell, adding that critical businesses are expected to remain open. “Restaurants are essential services for our residents. Industry workers actively performing their duties will be able to travel to and from work.” Cantrell did not clarify if delivery services would still be permitted under the stay-at-home order.

The mayor thanked “many of our restaurants for doing the right thing” this week but also said that “some restaurants have not heeded” all the state’s guidelines. She said the city is actively enforcing those rules and that noncompliant establishments are subject to losing their licenses to operate in New Orleans.

A guideline the mayor specified was that restaurants must ask guests to call ahead for their takeout orders, and that walk-up or in-person orders are not permitted. She also emphasized that restaurants are responsible for preventing groups from gathering outside.

The press conference did not indicate if the stay-at-home order was immediate or when it is expected to end. Check back for those details and more updates on how coronavirus is impacting the New Orleans restaurant world.

Do you know of a local fund or initiative to support New Orleans’s service industry? Heard of a restaurant closing permanently due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic? Let us know.

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