The town of New Orleans on Friday introduced new COVID-19 restrictions to forestall crowds forward of this 12 months’s Mardi Gras celebration. From February 12 to February 16, the town will shut all bars, ban the sale of to-go drinks, and halt all massive gatherings, amongst different measures.
“We’re doing this in response to the well being disaster that we’re in. There are penalties of not taking motion, the prices are just too excessive,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell stated in a statement. “There are three new COVID strains on the market which is able to have an effect on our metropolis.”
“We have now to mitigate this virus one of the best ways we will. It requires all of us doing the correct factor,” she added.
Underneath the brand new restrictions, foot visitors to widespread Mardi Gras spots, together with Bourbon Avenue and Frenchmen Avenue, shall be restricted after 7 p.m. The Clairborne underpass shall be totally fenced off.
The information comes after metropolis officers noticed rising crowds main as much as New Orleans’ most well-known vacation. Whereas the town canceled all official parades in 2020, Cantrell stated gatherings have continued to extend main as much as the occasion, calling the crowds on Bourbon Avenue final weekend had been “unacceptable.”
“To those who are upset about these restrictions, know that relating to the well being of our folks, I would somewhat be accused of doing an excessive amount of than not sufficient,” Cantrell tweeted Friday.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards will ship brokers from a number of legislation enforcement divisions to assist implement the brand new COVID-19 restrictions on Mardi Gras weekend.
“A disgrace on us if Mardi Gras 2021 appears to be like something like Mardi Gras 2020 with the variety of folks with COVID in our state and throughout the nation this 12 months,” Edwards added in a press conference Thursday.
Since final 12 months, Louisiana has reported greater than 400,000 coronavirus instances. 9,076 have died.There are at the moment 863 new cases in New Orleans, the place 70% of hospitals are at capability.