Louisiana to enter Phase 3 of economic reopening

The US state of Louisiana will move to Phase 3 of economic reopening starting from Friday due to improving situation in the fight against Covid-19, Governor John Bel Edwards announced.

“The data is positive enough that we will be going in to Phase 3 tomorrow,” Xinhua news agency quoted Edwards as saying in a statement on Thursday.

The Governor further said that he will provide details of the Phase 3 on Friday.

During the announcement, Edwards repeatedly urged people not to assume that a new phase means the pandemic is over.

Local media said that Phase 3 is expected to ease restrictions for restaurants, stores, churches, gyms and possibly bars.

Louisiana has been in Phase 2 since June 5 and Edwards closed bars for on-premises consumption and mandated masks statewide on July 13.

The current phase is expected to expire on Friday.

Louisiana on Thursday reported 499 new coronavirus cases, taking the statewide tally to more than 156,000.

The state also registered 21 new fatalities which increased the overall death toll to 5,161.