Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards relaxed state coronavirus restrictions on businesses Tuesday, lifting all capacity limits for bars, restaurants, gyms, casinos and retail establishments as the state continues to see improvements in the fight against the virus.
But Edwards will keep his statewide mask mandate in effect, heeding the advice of federal public health officials bucking a regional trend as other Deep South governors lift their own mask mandates.
Edwards will maintain 50 percent occupancy limits in effect for reception halls and large music venues but increased the maximum number of people allowed from 250 to 500. Sporting event attendance will also be limited to 50 percent of the stadium or arena’s occupancy.
Parish and municipal governments will still have the authority to impose more stringent coronavirus restrictions, Edwards said.
The new orders will remain in effect through April 28.
The governor’s orders come as federal public health officials warn that the nation is seeing early signs of another deadly surge of the coronavirus, driven by new, more transmissible virus variants and more relaxed social distancing efforts.