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COVID-19 numbers are dropping across Louisiana, the number of vaccines are going up, and parts of New Orleans will be reopening.

According to updated guidelines, New Orleans restaurants will be able to increase their occupancy, many businesses will be able to go up to 50% occupancy, and outdoor gatherings of 25 will again be allowed in the city. However, bars will be forced to stay closed, no matter what the COVID-19 data says.

City officials have decided they will keep New Orleans bars relatively shut down through Mardi Gras. This doesn't have much impact on the bars who were given special restaurant permits, but really impacts the bars without kitchens, like mainly around Bourbon St.

These bar rules will be forced into place through Mardi Gras, even if COVID numbers drop at an increased rate. So far the COVID numbers in the area have been cut in half since January 9th, but even with that massive drop, the bars will not be able to make any increases. No matter how low the COVID numbers drop, these bars will be restricted until at least February 19th.

Which for a lot of bar owners means frustrations and fear, as the Mardi Gras season is usually a giant boost for their years.

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