Starting at 6 a.m. Saturday, you can no longer get to-go drinks in New Orleans.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell made the announcement Friday afternoon, saying new cases continued to be linked to social gatherings.
Cantrell said the move is intended to cut down on the likelihood of large gatherings outside of bars, about which her administration has received numerous complaints.
“We see clear indication that we have returned to widespread community transmission,” she said.
The city remains under Phase 2 restrictions, meaning masks are required, indoor gatherings are limited to 25 people, outdoor gatherings are limited to 50, some businesses are allowed to be open at 50 percent capacity, and bars, amusement parks, music halls, festivals and other events and businesses are prohibited.
Cantrell acknowledged the economic toll the closures are taking.
"We understand the impact this is having on our bar community,” she said.
“We have seen the negative impact that has had on the city of New Orleans,” she added, “I am having to do this … until we move into a better position of public health in the city of New Orleans.”
Cantrell also announced a new program to provide individual $6,000 grants to restaurants for the development of outdoor seating.
Officials also announced that the federal government will provide emergency surge testing capacity for the city of New Orleans. A lack of test kits has caused backlogs and long wait times. The new test sites will open next week with a drive-up/walk-through site at UNO’s Lakefront Arena and will rotate through various university sites in coming weeks.