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NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans bars will be shut down, even for takeout service, throughout next week’s Mardi Gras weekend.
That’s usually among the busiest times of the year, but Mayor LaToya Cantrell says it is an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Many bars already were closed to indoor service. Cantrell’s announcement Friday means they can’t sell drinks to go — a popular option year-round and especially during Mardi Gras. The city is also expanding the closure order to include bars with “conditional” food permits that allowed them to operate as restaurants during various pandemic shutdowns.
The bar shutdown begins next Friday and runs through Feb. 16.
Cantrell and other city officials say businesses violating the rules face on-the-spot shutdowns and loss of licenses.
“If by chance you have an aversion to wearing a mask, stay where you’re at,” says City Council member Jay Banks, who knows people who have died from COVID-19. “If your expectation is the Mardi Gras of the past, don’t waste your money.”