New Orleans lifts vaccine mandate

New Orleans lifts vaccine mandate

Photo by: Rachel Klaus

By 9:00a.m. on Monday, March 21, Ben Myers broke the news that New Orleans has lifted its COVID-19 vaccine-or-test mandate. 

This means that no one will be required to have either a negative COVID-19 test or a COVID-19 vaccine in order to enter gyms, restaurants, bars, or any other public space in New Orleans. The only remaining pandemic restriction in the city is the federally required mask mandate on public transportation. 

This decision was able to be made due to the non-resurgence of Omicron three weeks after New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebrations. Mayor LaToya Cantrell said ending the vaccine mandate is a “critical and welcome milestone”. 

Across the region, viral cases and hospitalizations have reached tremendously low levels, therefore welcoming the end of the mandate. 

The COVID-19 vaccine-or-test mandate was first imposed in August during the surge of the Delta variant, and has been the single remaining restriction, as the mask mandate was lifted March 2 everywhere except public transportation.

On March 14, Gov. John Bel Edwards allowed Louisiana’s public health emergency proclamation to expire. 

It is unclear if mandates will return in the event of another rise in cases, as Cantrell stated they will continue to monitor data and follow science.