Live music – but not dancing – can return to New Orleans clubs this weekend as city eases COVID rules

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Live indoor music can resume in New Orleans beginning this weekend, city officials announced Wednesday, but dancing will remain prohibited, while venues, performers and audiences will be under strict requirements to employ measures to control the spread of the coronavirus.

The new rules take effect Friday morning, in response to a decline of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the city. It was not immediately clear how many bars and other live music venues will be able to meet them and begin hosting live entertainment again in a city where music is ingrained in cultural history and vital to tourism.

Brian Greenberg, general manager of Tipitina’s, said he thinks the historic music club and bar may be able to pull it off, although not right away. “We have a floor plan that we’ve already mapped out,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “We’re a big room, so we have that advantage.”

Greenberg added that he and the bar’s owners and staff still need to review the extensive regulations, which are based on guidelines already in effect statewide. They require mask wearing, social distancing, proper ventilation and also include details on when singers are required to wear face coverings and how trumpet players should empty their spit valves.

Dancing is ruled out under the regulations, which also note that patrons must “refrain from cheering or singing along.”

“Each club, institution, is really going to have to look at those and then check with the state fire marshal,” city health director Jennifer Avegno said at a news conference with Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “They’re not overly onerous. They can be done.”

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