New Orleans has become the latest US city to introduce a vaccine or testing requirement in order for patrons to be able to visit certain indoor venues. The new requirements have been introduced as a measure to halt the spread of Covid-19 in the city, with figures showing a worrying resurgence of the virus in the past month.
New Orleans has joined the likes of San Francisco with this announcement, with the Californian city also mandating vaccine passports for entry into certain establishments this week. Here’s everything you need to know about the new requirements in New Orleans, plus a recap of San Francisco’s vaccine passport requirements too.
New Orleans’ New Requirements – What Travelers Should Know
New Orleans is synonymous with entertainment, and is a destination that features on many travelers’ bucket lists in the US. Famous for its vibrant nightlife, music on every corner and its tantalizing creole and Cajun cuisine, millions of tourists visit the city each year to sample the delights of Bourbon Street and partake in the unique atmosphere of the city. However, recent changes to the restrictions in New Orleans have made it harder for more people to join in with the festivities.
The city of New Orleans revealed on Thursday that people would need to show either proof of vaccination against Covid-19 or a negative result from a Covid test taken in the last 72 hours to partake in a range of activities, such as going to bars, eating indoors at restaurants, going to the gym or to take part in several other outdoor activities.
The move has been taken in order to address a recent rise in the number of positive cases in the city, with the 7-day average of daily Covid-19 cases in Orleans parish currently at 342. The new rules are set to be in effect from Monday, with enforcement commencing the following week on August 23rd.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, LaToya Cantrell – the Mayor of New Orleans – justified her decision, and outlined some of the venues that would be affected by the new restrictions. Mayor Cantrell said:
“The situation is dire and we are simply out of time. Sports complexes and stadiums, this includes the Superdome. Concerts, centers, music halls, event spaces, and adult performance venues. Casinos and racetracks also included in this.”
The new restrictions follow the city’s decision to reinstate the mask mandate at the end of July after two months without it, a decision that reflects the severity of the situation in New Orleans, and the city’s requirements for its employees and contractors to be vaccinated. Dr. Emily Nichols, Medical Director for the city, made an impassioned plea, stating: “If we don’t all mask, if we don’t all get vaccinated, this will continue to kill us. This is an ongoing fight we cannot win if it’s just a few of us.”
Joining New Orleans in imposing new restrictions against Covid-19 is San Francisco. The state announced on Thursday that anyone who wishes to dine out, go to a bar or attend an entertainment venue will need to show proof of vaccination, with negative test results not enough to grant access. San Francisco’s Mayor, London Breed, said that vaccinations offered a “way out of the pandemic, and our way back to a life where we can be together safely.”
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories