By: Jill A. Gautreaux

UPDATE:  All casinos, bars, and movie theaters in the entire state are ordered closed and restaurants are limited to delivery, take-out, and drive thru.  The change takes effect at midnight tonight and remains in effect until April 13.

Yesterday, Mayor LaToya Cantrell of the City of New Orleans issued restrictions concerning bar and restaurant operations in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, which is spreading rapidly in New Orleans.  The following restrictions will be enforced by the New Orleans Police Department and Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.  Both agencies have indicated that the restrictions will be strictly enforced and violations could result in the suspension of the licensee’s liquor license.  The following is the current list of the restrictions:

  • All full-service restaurants with seating cease operations at 9 p.m. daily. Further they will work to limit their seating capacity for social distancing whether it is removing tables/chairs or using a checkerboard type seating pattern to provide more guest spacing. The goal is to reduce seating by up to 50 percent. Employers will continue to monitor employees and ask employees to regularly take their own temperature. As supplies allow, employers will also assist. This goes for beverage/bar servers. Employers will continue to post signs for enhanced cleaning processes and how to maintain good health.
  • Once the dining room closes, a restaurant can still offer delivery until its usual closing time.
  • The quick-service or fast-casual establishments can only offer “drive-thru” service but can be extended to 24 hours if they so choose.
  • Bars and nightclubs will cease service at 12 a.m. daily. They will limit their capacity to up to 50 percent of posted patron limit. Last call will be at 11:15 pm. Everyone must be out and headed home by 12 am.
  • Hotel operations will adhere to above operating times for their restaurants and bar operations as well as limiting capacity.
  • Operators will post notice to patrons that when they depart to please consider returning home.
  • Operators will not allow gathering for waiting for seating, or access purposes. They will implement use of text messaging to advise if the table is ready.
  • Operators will encourage no public gatherings in any area.
  • Once patrons exit the premises of restaurants or bars, they may not loiter in the street or congregate in groups outside. This will be enforced city-wide.
  • Tour groups will be limited to groups of no more than seven (7) at a time.

I will keep everyone posted as to any updates concerning restrictions on operations.  In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Jill Gautreaux at (504) 620-3366.