All New Orleans bars ordered to close for Mardi Gras, mayor says: ‘We’re worried about the entire city’


It’s going to be a quiet Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell said she was ordering all bars in the city to shut from Friday, Feb. 12 through the holiday on Tuesday, Feb. 16 because of coronavirus-related public health concerns.   

“We’re worried about the entire city and that’s why we’re putting these guidelines in place,” Cantrell told reporters at a press conference Friday.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell said she was ordering all bars in the city to shut from Friday, Feb. 12 through the holiday on Tuesday, Feb. 16 because of coronavirus-related public health concerns.   <br>
(Fox News/Charles Watson)

Mayor LaToya Cantrell said she was ordering all bars in the city to shut from Friday, Feb. 12 through the holiday on Tuesday, Feb. 16 because of coronavirus-related public health concerns.   <br>
(Fox News/Charles Watson)

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Popular destinations for celebrating Mardi Gras, including Bourbon Street, will be closed to pedestrians and vehicles. No liquor sales will be allowed anywhere in the French Quarter, even from liquor stores. To-go beverages will also be banned for the five-day period, the mayor added.

The city plans to put up fences and barricades in an effort to prevent revelers from congregating in areas like the Claiborne Underpass, and police will patrol to break up any gatherings that do form.

New Oreans won't be staging any colorful Mardi Gras parades in 2021. 

New Oreans won’t be staging any colorful Mardi Gras parades in 2021. 
(Photo Credit: iStock)

Cantrell said the city has already issued warnings to businesses that have broken local COVID-19 safety protocols and even shut down some of the establishments. Any bars that defy the Mardi Gras ban will also face a possible shutdown.

“There’s been a lot of warnings in the hope that a warning would be good enough,” Cantrell said.

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New Orleans officials had already warned that no Mardi Gras parades would be allowed in the city, which is famously known for its large Mardi Gras celebrations.

Because pandemic dangers from large and widespread crowds have canceled Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans this year, thousands of people are decorating their homes as floats. (AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)

Because pandemic dangers from large and widespread crowds have canceled Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans this year, thousands of people are decorating their homes as floats. (AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)

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New Orleans, the largest city in Louisiana, has averaged 122 new COVID-19 cases per day for the past week, according to the Orleans Parish. More than 71% of hospital beds are in use, putting local health facilities at “high risk” of overload.

Cantrell had eased some coronavirus restrictions late last month. But masks are required when around anyone from outside your household, businesses must ensure at least six feet of social distancing between people who don’t live together, and gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors, or 25 people outdoors.



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