Gov. John Bel Edwards adjusted his Phase 3 emergency order Thursday to allow Louisiana restaurants, casinos and bars in certain geographic areas to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption for an extra hour — until 11 p.m.
Under the original Phase 3 plan announced last week, those establishments had to stop selling alcohol for on-site drinking at 10 p.m. The governor decided to tweak his plan this week after lobbying from the Louisiana Restaurant Association and individual restaurant owners, his office said.
The new rules mean that the few bars which are allowed to operate will be able to keep their doors open until 11. Restaurants and casinos can be open later — albeit without alcohol service inside their establishments.
Under Phase 3, restaurants can be open at 75 percent capacity and casinos can be open at 50 percent capacity — with 75 percent of their gambling “seats” available. Bars can only be open if they are in a parish with less than 5 percent positive results on COVID-19 tests. The parish government must also agree that bars should open up. Only four parishes — Acadia, Jefferson Davis, St. Landry and Plaquemines — currently meet the criteria and have opted for open bars, according to the governor’s office.
“Limiting hours for alcohol consumption is designed to reduce the amount of higher risk behavior in the community. This change has been implemented in several states, including Colorado, and has also been recommended by the White House Coronavirus Task Force,” Edwards said in a press release Thursday.