698 Louisiana businesses cited for violating virus rules

Coronavirus

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JULY 14: Visitors walk past face mask signs along Decatur Street in the French Quarter on July 14, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued three new restrictions for Phase II of reopening that will be in place until at least until July 24 across Louisiana to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Restrictions include mandatory mask or face covering outside of the home for those eight years old and older, bars will be closed unless providing curbside pickup, and indoor social gatherings are to be limited to 50 people. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Records from the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office show that nearly 700 restaurants, bars and other businesses failed inspections in July for violating the governor’s coronavirus restrictions.

The records obtained by the Lafayette Daily Advertiser show the citations included face mask violations, tables being too close together, large group gatherings, exceeded capacities and self-serve buffet dining.

Officials announced last week that the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control suspended the operating licenses of four businesses that were found to have repeatedly violated restrictions.

The state is cracking down on violators as Louisiana, which once appeared to successfully reduce the virus’ spread, now has among the nation’s highest per capita infection rates.

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