NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - New Orleans mayor Latoya Cantrell today announced that the city was ready to move into the next phase of reopening perhaps by the end of the week. Her announcement would mean expanded seating at churches, bars and some football games.
The announcement came at a legislative hearing at which Mayor Cantrell was asking for tens of millions of dollars to help alleviate deficits brought on by coronavirus.
“By this Friday we will be in 3.2,” she said.
The new reopening phase will clear the way for expanded seating at several events. Churches will be able to hold 500 people or be at 50 percent capacity which ever is less. Bars will be able to operate outdoors at 25 percent capacity with 50 people and high school football games beginning this Friday will be able to have as many as 500 fans in attendance or be at 25 percent capacity which ever is less.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction. It’s been so tough on parents,” said Coach Ryan Manale, from De La Salle High School.
The earlier phase only allowed 250 fans to attend outdoor games.
Phase 3.2 and expanded seating is especially welcome since in two days. De la Salle is actually holding a home game 42 miles away in Hammond.
“That way I can accommodate up to 2000 fans and we look forward to that,” said Manale.
In the legislative hearing the mayor made no apologies for COVID-19 policies that some have criticized as being too strict.
“We continue to be the success story for Louisiana and United States of America,” said Cantrell.
And she hopes that as the city enters Phase 3.2 the Covid numbers will remain low so that more restrictions may be lifted.
As for seating inside the Superdome, the city today said they have no plans to allow it anytime soon. But they say they continue to be in close communication with the Saints, who are now talking to LSU about playing there.
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