Crowds gather in French Quarter for busy Easter weekend

Visitors and locals alike take advantage of good weather, but health officials warn about large gatherings amid pandemic.

Crowds gather in French Quarter for busy Easter weekend

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Popular areas of New Orleans were filled with visitors on Saturday, like parks and the French Quarter. Health officials say while the restrictions may be lessened, now is not the time to let your guard down.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, COVID-19 positivity rates for Orleans Parish are under one percent as of April 3, 2021. With restrictions loosening up in the city on bars and restaurants, health expert Dr. Eric Griggs said hanging out in large crowds and without a face mask is irresponsible.

“The chance is still there. Nothing is 100 percent,” he said. “The numbers in Orleans Parish and in Louisiana are in our favor. The data in allowing us to be outside and enjoy some freedoms that we haven’t had but the problem is if we’re not careful because of the variants that are still out there.”

Griggs said it’s something residents and visitors need to keep in mind.

“Wear your mask and just what we’ve done to get here. We’re almost there,” he said.

Kelly Schulz, senior vice president of communications for New Orleans & Company, said tourism is definitely picking up across the city.

“It’s great to see visitors in the city. We welcome them, we want them to follow the guidelines to be safe,” she said.

Schulz adds with tourism on the rise, hotels are having strong weekend occupancy with numbers over 90 percent over the last few weekends. Something she says the hospitality industry hasn’t seen in over a year.

Still, she is urging tourists to follow the city’s COVID guidelines when visiting.

“We need to keep it up,” she said. “We need to keep doing those safety measures so the restrictions can continue to be lessened and people can really get out and enjoy. It’s human nature to want to travel.”

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