New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced the city will move into the second phase of its coronavirus reopening on Saturday during a town hall on WBOK on Tuesday afternoon.

Phase 2 of reopening in New Orleans will mean restaurants and other businesses that had been open at 25% capacity in Phase 1 can bump that up to 50%, as long as social distancing is maintained. That includes houses of worship and movie theaters, which will both be allowed to have up to 250 people.

Bars, which have not yet been able to reopen, will be able to open at 25% capacity. Casinos and video poker establishments will also be allowed to open at 25% capacity. 

Louisiana reported 562 new cases of the novel coronavirus across the state on Tuesday, bringing the total to 43,612.

Weddings, funerals and other events will be limited to 100 people, as long as there is a crowd control officer per 50 people. Gatherings had previously been limited to 10 people.

“It’s because of our people, our residents are at the forefront, having made this tremendous progress that allows us – this city – to continue to make progress,” Cantrell said. 

Outdoor live performances will be allowed but indoor live entertainment and large festivals will not be. NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said during the town hall that second lines would not be allowed during Phase 2.

“We’re just not there yet, I’ve received numerous phone calls about that,” Ferguson said. “To our musicians, I just ask them and urge them to just be patient. As soon as its ready, we’ll be ready to rock and roll with them.”

Malls will be allowed to open at 50% capacity as long as they adhere to state guidelines. Tattoo shops will also be allowed to open.

Cruise ships will still be prohibited and Cantrell called them “a floating virus.” 

Cantrell said city officials will re-evaluate the restrictions in 21 days to determine whether they can be loosened further.

The rest of the state moved into Phase 2 on Saturday, but Cantrell and city officials hung back and stuck to the stricter rules of Phase 1. The delay was designed to allow the city to see whether the Phase 1 re-opening, which allowed restaurants to seat a limited number of customers, allowed hair and nail salons to reopen with restrictions and eased other rules.

Louisiana saw the number of newly reported coronavirus infections rise over the past week as cases during the first phase of the state’s re-op…

The city has not seen any increases in its daily count of new cases as infections from Phase 1 have started to show up in state data, though other areas of the state have seen significant increases.

New Orleans and Jefferson Parish were the centers of the original outbreak in Louisiana in late March and early April, though both have suppressed the number of new cases reported each day.

The protests in New Orleans and across Louisiana sparked by the death of George Floyd and broader issues of police misconduct have left public…

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