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Governor relaxes COVID-19 restrictions

Wednesday, March 31, 2021
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Gov. John Bel Edwards' office circulated this graphic after the governor announced Tuesday some lessening of COVID-19 restrictions.

Gov. John Bel Edwards eased Louisiana’s COVID-19 restrictions yet again Tuesday by lifting occupancy limits on restaurants, gyms, salons and bars but keeping them in place for large venues and sporting events.

“Today marks a big step forward,” Edwards said in announcing the looser rules during a Baton Rouge press conference.

The new restrictions are effective today and remain in place until April 28.

Louisiana’s mask mandate remains in place, making it one of the few Deep South states to continue to require face coverings.

Edwards said his decision to end most occupancy requirements came in light of mostly positive trends in the number of newly confirmed COVID cases and in COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths.

Large reception halls and similar venues now have a 50% or 500-person occupancy limit, and sporting events will remain at 50% capacity. The governor continued to push social distancing, hand washing and getting vaccinated.

Vaccinations “are how we’re going to put this pandemic behind us,” Edwards said. “It’s going to help us take off our masks.”

Edwards’ decision to relax the rules seems to brush aside federal health officials’ concerns that the country is headed toward another surge, especially as COVID variants become more prevalent.