New Orleans Shutting Down Bars for Mardi Gras

Normally this time of year in New Orleans means Bacchus, booze, beads and just a general bacchanal as tourists flock to The Big Easy for Mardi Gras.

Not this year.


Not after what happened in 2020.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

Officials in New Orleans have ordered a temporary shutdown of all bars in the city and will restrict access to the famous French Quarter starting on Friday, February 12 and running through Fat Tuesday on February 16.

The ability to grab take-out alcoholic beverages and drink them in the streets of the city, long a tradition in NOLA, is suspended. There will be no sales of liquor from liquor stores in the Quarter, all parades are canceled and police will man popular areas like Bourbon St. to help hold down crowds.

“To those that are upset about these restrictions, know that when it comes to the health of our people, I’d rather be accused of doing too much than not enough,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell said, according to Forbes.

While the measures might seem a tad draconian, Cantrell is hoping to avoid what happened last year at Mardi Gras. In late February 2020, just before COVID-19 became a full-on pandemic, some 1.4 million tourists descended on New Orleans for the festivities. It ended up becoming a super-spreader event, making New Orleans and the state of Louisiana one of the nation’s first hotspots for the coronavirus.

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