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Mardi Gras Effectively Canceled as Bars Ordered to Close

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.

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.

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. Read Full Article >

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