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Musicians, residents rejoice at lifted New Orleans mask mandate; businesses a little more cautious

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 10:46 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -We’ve grown accustomed to the no shoes, no masks, no service way of life, but now masks are no longer required in New Orleans.

“I think that’s fantastic. I think it’s great,” said Pat Prather.

“Beautiful, finally so happy about it as long as you’re vaccinated as long as you’re being safe that’s the way to go,” said Nat Lawrence.

Nat Lawrence was in a rush to get to his gig at the Royal Frenchman Hotel, an outdoor space that still requires social distancing and keeps guests seated to enjoy the show.

The hotel’s music liaison, Jay Anderson, says there’s no rush to change that protocol yet, safety is what’s important.

“I trust science I trust the CDC but there’s nothing wrong with having extra precaution and just paying attention and being mindful,” said Anderson.

“You’re not allowed to dance so you have to do the Footloose thing and say ‘hey, there’s no dancing in this town’,” said Lawrence.

However, along with lifting the mask mandate, the city’s also lifting the restriction on dancing.

“That’s amazing, yeah, tell Kevin Bacon, ‘let’s go’. It’s Kevin Bacon all the way down. I don’t have to be the assistant principal anymore,” said Lawrence.

Even though New Orleans has lifted the mask mandate, business owners still have the latitude to require mask-wearing on their premises.

“We fully support individuals and businesses who choose to continue masking as a safety measure. I’m fully vaccinated, as you often know, but I still plan to wear a mask in large crowds, certain indoor activities with larger groups of people that I don’t know what their vaccination statuses,” said Dr. Jennifer Avegno with the New Orleans Health Department.

Along with your ticket, a mask will also still be required at the Spotted Cat for their shows. Manager, Bradley Clement says they need more time to figure out what works for them, their customers, employees, and their musicians.

“We’ve been selling ticket shows online. We sold them based on the covid protocols that were in place so we’re gonna stick to that for this weekend and then will reconvene and see going forward,” said Clement.

These sights and sounds are a stark contrast to the silent New Orleans streets of the pandemic, but people are once again enjoying what they did before.

“Looks like everything’s going to open up inside and I’m ready to go,” said Lawrence.

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