The NOPD today announced a change in the hours of scheduled closure for parts of the French Quarter area as part of its enforcement plan during the upcoming Mardi Gras weekend and holiday, , amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
NOPD will be “all hands on deck” throughout the five-day period, patrolling throughout the city for those who are in violation of city mandates regarding illegal gatherings and closure of all bars in the city, including those that obtained a state license to operate as a restaurant. While restaurants will remain open and can serve alcohol, to-go alcohol is banned during this period, as well as package liquor sales within the boundaries of the French Quarter.
“With the assistance of our law enforcement partners at the Louisiana State Police and the Orleans Parish Sheriff Office, we have a plan that will help us have a scaled back and safe Mardi Gras,” NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said today during a press conference held at NOPD Headquarters. “When we hear of a large crowd reported, with the additional resources of our law enforcement partners at our disposal, we will be able to flex our deployment and deal with those crowds as they gather – not just on Bourbon Street, but anywhere in the city,” he said.
Beginning today (Friday, February 12, 2021) and running through 3:00 a.m. on February 17, 2021, the following enforcement actions will be in place:
- There will be limited access to Bourbon Street from Canal Street to Dumaine Street. Only residents, shop attendees, restaurants patrons and hotel guests will be allowed access to these areas during this time, but no loitering will be allowed.
- There will be limited access to the 500 and 600 blocks of Frenchmen Street. Only residents, shop attendees, restaurants patrons and hotel guests will be allowed access to these areas during this time, but no loitering will be allowed.
- On Mardi Gras Day (February 16), the aforementioned sections of Bourbon Street and Frenchmen Street will be closed from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. on February 17.
- Starting today (February 12), all bars citywide are closed for the five-day period, including those that have temporary licenses to operate as restaurants. Any businesses found to be in violation of this order will be closed on the spot.
- Decatur Street will be closed between Dumaine and Toulouse streets between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. each day through February 15. On Mardi Gras Day (February 16), this section of Decatur Street will close from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. on February 17.
- The area directly under the elevated Interstate 10 on North Claiborne Avenue from St. Louis Street to St. Bernard Avenue will be fenced to discourage gatherings. The travel lanes of North Claiborne Avenue will remain open for traffic. Enhanced patrols with NOPD and Louisiana State Police will monitor this area.
Ferguson urged citizens and visitors to New Orleans to not attend any large gatherings in the city during the Mardi Gras holidays, as to not spread the COVID-19 virus. He also urged anyone who sees a large crowd or gathering in the city to call 311 to report the incident.
“Everyone has a stake in the response to COVID-19,” Ferguson said. “We need our citizens and visitors to exercise personal responsibility. We must work together to keep each other safe. Please adhere to the established guidelines and avoid large gatherings. By doing so, hopefully by next year we will have a handle on Covid-19 and will be able to have something closer to a normal celebration.”
More details on citywide COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines can be viewed at https://ready.nola.gov.