State Fire Marshal Butch Browning talks about the Governor's plan to further ease Louisiana's COVID restrictions and what the new rules mean for area businesses.

The latest COVID related announcement, made Tuesday by Governor John Bel Edwards, removes state's current mask mandate and allows local leaders to put their own local rules into effect, if necessary. The Governor announced that masks will still be required for certain buildings and industries, including K-12 schools and state agencies. But the overall State-wide mask mandate is being dropped and shifted to a local decision.

"This is great news as people are trying to get back to normal," says Browning, "The mask mandate, fundamentally, has been lifted. The social distancing kind of fits into that Basically, your restaurants and indoor facilities are at 75%. But they can go (with) masking recommended, but not so much to the point of required. We're at a point where (wearing a mask) is truly a personal choice "

The latest Edwards proclamation also eliminates size restrictions on outdoor crowds, eases restrictions on live music and allows indoor events to have 100% occupancy if everyone is wearing a mask. In addition, sports venues can also go to 100% occupancy inside, as long as they require masks for everyone.

Browning adds that business owners can now make their own decision as to whether masks must be worn by their employers and / or customers.



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