Revelers who wanted to party on Bourbon Street in New Orleans found out this weekend that New Orleans police were taking the order against large gatherings seriously.
Video shot early Sunday shows police vehicles driving down the street, telling those looking for a good time to look somewhere else due to actions taken to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
“Large groups of people are prohibited from congregating together,” a police officer is heard saying over a loudspeaker. “Your actions are jeopardizing public health and we are directing you to clear the streets and to go home or back to your hotel. Thank you for your cooperation.”
— Oscar Zoroaster (@Prof__Marvel) March 15, 2020
The video was eerily reminiscent of one shot in Italy as police there tried to clear the streets in an effort to contain the coronavirus.
— coriiiiiiiiiiii (@coriiiiiiiiiii1) March 10, 2020
On Sunday night, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell put a limit of 50 percent capacity on bars and restaurants and imposed limits on their opening hours.
My dear New Orleans,
We need everyone’s help to slow the spread of COVID-19. The sacrifices we make today will save lives.
I love y’all! ❤️ – DavidNOLA pic.twitter.com/oqbqADEJ5X
— Mayor LaToya Cantrell (@mayorcantrell) March 15, 2020
She followed that up with an order to shut down bars.
If establishment is permitted as a bar, it cannot operate.
— Mayor LaToya Cantrell (@mayorcantrell) March 18, 2020
The edicts worked well enough that St. Patrick’s Day on Bourbon Street was a far cry from its usual self, according to WVUE.
“Oh, this is horrible, this is horrible. I expect more people out partying, hanging out,” Boston resident Michael McFadden said Tuesday as he sought enjoyment along the famed street.
Commentators on Twitter had a mixed reaction to the crackdown.
Bourbon Street in New Orleans is shut down.
— Toni Rodosta (@RodostaToni) March 18, 2020
— Awesome Jimmy Team?? everything re ❤#JimmyCarter (@peanut_brigade) March 18, 2020
— #SageOfTheSixthPants (@SanPants) March 18, 2020
Charles Fontenot, manager of the Quartermaster Deli, told WVUE the quiet reminded him of when the establishment was open during Hurricane Katrina.
“It’s kind of quiet like it was then … business has slowed down a little, a lot of people want to conserve their money not spend as much,” he said.
Police were patrolling the street to prevent groups from gathering.
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