Indianapolis to relax COVID-19 restrictions before Big Ten, NCAA men's tournaments arrive

Indianapolis will relax coronavirus restrictions on the city's bars and restaurants starting next week ahead of the upcoming Big Ten and NCAA men's basketball tournaments.

The changes will allow bars to operate at 50% capacity instead of 25% starting Monday, while restaurants will see their indoor restaurant capacity increase from 50% to 75%. Bars, restaurants and music venues will also be able to close two hours later, at 2 a.m., instead of at midnight.

Mayor Joe Hogsett says the capacity and time changes were prompted by drops in the city's COVID-19 cases and its coronavirus positivity rate, and not due to the upcoming Big Ten and NCAA men's basketball tournaments.

"I want to make it clear though that these decisions were in no way driven by March Madness," Hogsett said.