Edwards moving Louisiana to Phase Two reopening June 5

Staff Reports
Plaquemine Post South

BATON ROUGE — Gov. John Bel Edwards will move Louisiana into Phase 2 of reopening June 5, allowing businesses to expand their limited operations or open for the first time since he issued the first coronavirus stay-at-home order in March.

Bars, pool halls, tattoo parlors, swimming pools for recreational use, massage facilities, spas and food courts in shopping malls can open with restrictions for the first time since March 23.

Restaurants, casinos, retailers and churches that were allowed to open in Phase 1 can generally expand their occupancy capacity from 25 percent to 50 percent. Casinos can open up 75 percent of their "gaming positions" like slot machines.

Indoor and outdoor amusement parks and sleep-away children's camps will remain closed during Phase 2, which will last at least 21 days.

Bars will be limited to 25 percent of seated occupancy. Tattoo parlors will have strict sanitation and time limit requirements.

Edwards' new order continues to require business employees who interact with the public to wear face coverings or masks and encourages all people to wear protective masks.

It also encourages, but doesn't mandate, that businesses conduct temperature checks upon entry.

Edwards' order doesn't go far enough for some lawmakers like House Republican Caucus Chairman Blake Miguez, R-Erath, and Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry, who had previously backed the Democratic governor's action.

Landry and Miguez were among a large group of mostly Republican lawmakers who sent a letter to Edwards asking him to open all businesses without "arbitrary occupancy restrictions."

"I think it's time to open all businesses safely," Miguez said. "We want to get Louisiana back on its feet."