New Orleans loosens covid capacity restrictions for indoor and outdoor gatherings

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NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans has loosened covid capacity restrictions, allowing venues to let more people through their doors. Brian Knighten, owner of The Broadside, says the change is happening at the perfect time.

“I’m also very thankful that the city chose to do it immediately as opposed to waiting until Monday because it’s a beautiful weekend. We have sold out shows all weekend so we were able to add a couple more tickets to the events, which makes the bands happy and makes the venue happy,” said Knighten.

Under the new capacity restrictions indoor gatherings can host 150 people, outdoor gatherings can host 250 people, indoor sports events can operate at 25% capacity, while outdoor sports events can operate at 50% capacity and bars across the city will remain at 50% capacity.

The updated restrictions, creating hopeful optimism for business owners across the city

“These are the first steps, you know, we’re just concerned about safety and getting people back in the right way,” said Howie Kaplan, owner of The Howlin’ Wolf.

Social distancing and masks will still be mandatory at venues, a safety measure business owners understand..

“We kind of want to ease into it. We want our customers to ease into it. I think part of our success has been customers recognize that we keep things very distant. People are in their seats, every pod is six feet apart,” said Knighten.

With vaccines quickly rolling out across the city, Kaplan says New Orleans’ tourism industry will be back on track sooner rather than later.

“These are really great times to start saying it’s time to come to New Orleans, cause when you come see a show here, our musicians are going to be vaccinated before anyone else,”

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