New Orleans will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test for bars, gyms, concerts

New Orleans announced Thursday that people will have to show either proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test result within the last 72 hours to go to bars, eat indoors at restaurants, work out in a gym, or do other activities in public.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell said that the new rules will go into effect on Monday and enforcement will start on Aug. 23.

“The situation is dire and we are simply out of time,” the Mayor said at a press conference Thursday. “Sports complexes and stadiums, this includes the Superdome. Concerts, centers, music halls, event spaces, and adult performance venues. Casinos and racetracks also included in this.”

City workers and contractors were already required to get vaccinated, and the Mayor implemented a new mask mandate on July 30.

Dr. Jennifer Avegno, an emergency room doctor in New Orleans, said that universal masking is “absolutely essential in the short term to help blunt the high levels of community spread while we wait for vaccination rates everywhere to increase.”

“While our mask mandate was a critical first step, it’s not enough and we need to do more,” Dr. Avegno said at Thursday’s press conference. “We want people to live, children to be protected, and businesses to thrive, and these guidelines are the way to do all of that as much as we possibly can.” – READ MORE