One of the industries hit hardest by the pandemic has been bars, especially in Louisiana.

On Tuesday, Governor John Bel Edwards announced the state was moving into Phase 3 of the CDC's COVID-19 reopening protocols. This meant the restrictions on bars were eased up enough to where they can reopen their doors for business.

Amy Simon, local bar owner, told KPLC they've been in business for 15 years and that even though their business had to close its doors during the pandemic, that didn't stop the bills from continuing to roll in. Having no income for almost a year, they still have to renew their liquor license, pay taxes, and pay utilities.

For many bar owners, they've been living on savings and SBA loans for the last year, and the money is running dry. In SWLA, bar capacities are limited to 25 percent, but local owners are just glad to have any business they can get. Patrons must still wear masks, and bars have to close by 11:00pm nightly.

These rules will remain in effect until March 31, and then we'll wait to hear where JBL will take the state from there.

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