New Orleans extends bar hours, alcohol sales to 1 a.m.

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NEW ORLEANS — Let the good times roll! The city of New Orleans announcing a major change in covid restrictions, extending alcohol sales to 1 a.m.

It’s been months since bars across the city of New Orleans have been able to stay open past 11 p.m., but that all changed and bar owners are breathing a much needed sigh of relief.

Like Brian Mullin, owner of Local 718 on Bourbon St.

“I’m really excited that we’re getting two more hours. I think it’ll increase our business by 7 to 8 percent,” said Mullin.

The city’s latest decision states all alcohol sales, whether at a bar, restaurant or a liquor store, are permitted from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. in the the French Quarter and the Central Business District, but bar owners all across the city will reap the benefits of the new curfew.

“I think it just helps out with the service industry with the people getting off at 10, 11 o’clock and being able to have a couple extra hours to sit back, relax, drink, eat a little bit more. I think it’ll be a good thing for the whole city,” said Jeffrey Carreras, owner of Tracey’s.

The latest move comes after the city says covid case counts, transmission rates and positivity rates have been down for nine weeks. The city also says the vaccination process is moving along, with nearly 25% of the population vaccinated.

It’s great news for the New Orleans service industry, that thrives off off of tourism, and visitors say they’re ready for the late night celebrations.

“We’re going to go out and have a good time. It’s my birthday! Happy partying for everyone in New Orleans.” said Anthony Spanos, who’s visiting from Texas.

Masks and social distancing are still required in bars here and across New Orleans, and city leaders say the key to even more relaxed restrictions is making sure you get the vaccine.

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