Phase One of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ plan to reopen businesses in Louisiana will begin on Friday.
The governor’s heavily anticipated announcement on Monday came none too soon for some business owners in Franklinton and Washington Parish who have been either closed or partially closed since March 22.
Phase One, beginning Friday, will continue until June 5, which is 21 days. If Coronavirus continues to decline in the state, Phase Two will begin on June 6, further lessening restrictions. And eventually, Phase Three would begin, with most restrictions gone.
Phase One of the reopening, which draws heavily from Trump Administration guidelines, is the first step toward eventually removing all restrictions.
During Phase One, starting Friday, restaurants will be allowed to offer dine-in services if they limit indoor table service to 25% of their total capacity. Churches, gyms, and movie theaters can open with 25% of their total capacity. Barber shops, nail salons, hair salons and bars that offer food service, casinos, and museums can also operate at 25% of their normal capacity.
Bars without food permits will remain closed.
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Edwards commented, "The bottom line is the people of Louisiana have worked really hard since this public health emergency was first announced to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Social distancing and masks are still encouraged, and employees interacting with the public are required to wear masks. Vulnerable people, like the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, are encouraged to continue to shelter in place.
In the Franklinton area, restaurants, beauty salons, and barber shops are among the businesses that have been hit the hardest by the governor’s closure order. While restaurants could remain open for take-out orders, they were not allowed to provide indoor seating. Other businesses have been designated as “essential” and have remained open.