Governor John Bel Edwards says the state is expediting the process for shuttered bars to apply and receive temporary restaurant licenses if they qualify.
Edwards says if bars show they can safely transition to restaurants they can reopen because functioning like a restaurant would make them safer.
“In terms of the 50 percent occupancy, the need to social distance for those who are not in the same household, and more than half of the income has to be derived from food sales, not alcohol sales,” says Edwards.
Edwards says this move came from consulting with the Resilient Louisiana Commission, who pointed out how struggling bar owners could adapt.
“That is another indication of the efforts that we are making to allow as many of these bar owners as much flexibility as possible,” says Edwards.
Edwards says the state has been working with bar owners to help them make this transition so they can reopen under a different format.
“Those who meet the requirements and are asking for the permit are receiving them very quickly so they can get into operation and start realizing some income as soon as possible,” says Edwards.
A Baton Rouge judge backed the Edwards Administration’s bar closure order Thursday, saying the Governor has the legal authority under the public health emergency to keep bars closed.