Las Vegas, NV

What's up with Las Vegas during Covid-19? Homeless not required to mask up!

Bria Snyder

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I have been asked numerous times what Las Vegas looks like right now. With us being so close to the shut down state of California it might come as a surprise that virtually every part of Las Vegas is open! There are some exceptions however which may make you want to rethink hopping on the next available flight.

As of right now casinos on The Las Vegas Strip and Fremont Street Experience are open and operating with 50% capacity*. However, most of the resorts/hotels attached to the casinos are only accepting reservations on the weekends while demand is low.

The casinos are still open for daily gambling and visiting. Many of the casinos have installed thermal body themperature scanners and implemented many precautions to aid keeping visitors safe during their trip. When you enter the casino a security officer will ask you to pull your mask down while a screen scans your face and temperature. Once inside you are free to gamble at any open seat. To keep in compliance with social distancing regulations, the chair of every other slot machine has been removed from the machine. Since physical distancing is not as easily enforced at table games, plexiglass dividers have been installed between players and dealers and between each player. When I moved to Las Vegas 8 years ago, I never imagined that this is what I would one day see as the new normal in Sin City.

*Please note that Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has placed a temporary 3 week pause on the state of Nevada which includes limiting casino capacity to 25% until the 3 week pause ends.

Travel Restrictions

Currently there are no travel restrictions in place for visiting Las Vegas or anyone traveling through McCarren International Airport from other US cities/states. Keep in mind that all airlines are requiring masks to be worn at all times while in the airport and during the duration of the flight for ages 2 and up.

Mask Requirements

All visitors and locals age 10 and up are required to wear a mask in public settings. Ages 2-9 are encouraged to wear a mask but not required by state mandate.

Exceptions

1. Masks are not required to be worn by anyone who is hearing impaired or anyone who is communicating with someone who is hearing impaired.

2. When outdoor working or outdoor recreations while alone, with other family members who reside in your home, or when able to physically distance.

3. Those experiencing homelessness are not required to wear a mask, however encouraged to practice physical distancing.

*Other exceptions do apply.

Know Before You Go: What is Closed

There are a few places which remain closed during this unprecedented time that may disrupt your Las Vegas trip plans.

Live Entertainment

At this time all live entertainment is closed, this includes Cirque Du Soleil shows, live concerts, festivals, confrences, conventions, anything with a crowd larger than 250 people. Permits are being granted for certain events of up to 1000 attendees where there is ample space and no more than 250 people are in each room. However, places such as Top Golf Las Vegas located near the MGM Grand is open with a limit of four people per bay.

If you thought you were going to come to Las Vegas and finally get to see the Las Vegas Raiders make their debut in the brand new Allegiant Stadium after their relocation from Oakland, CA you are going to be disapointed. At this time, specators are not permitted to attend any of the NFL teams games.

All bars and nightclubs must remain closed per state order.

Food

While most restaurants have reopened, they do have a limit of four people per table. And trust, they make no exceptions and this does include children. Most establishments will try to accomodate to the best of their ability while still following the state guidelines by seating parties of more than 4 as close to each other as possible.

Buffets at this time are mostly closed, the only buffet open on The Las Vegas Strip is Wicked Spoon located inside of The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.

Other

Although nightclubs and the like are closed, resort pools are open primarily to resort guests weather permitting. (Some may be open to the public for a small fee) Masks are required to be worn at all times you are not in the water. This means lounging by the pool and soaking up the sun, sadly you must wear your mask.

Museums such as The Mob Museum and the Neon Sign Museum have reopened with limited capacity.

All malls and shopping are open.

What's New

While many things have closed temporarily here in Las Vegas due to the rapidly spreading Covid-19 virus, a few new things have used this time to their advantage and opened ahead of schedule. Top of this list is the opening of the brand new Circa Resort & Casino. This casino is the first casino to be built in downtown Las Vegas since 1980. Uniquely featuring a pool sports book ampitheater.

Resorts World which broke ground in May of 2015 is set to open this summer of 2021 despite the temporary delay of construction during the nationwide shutdown. At a whopping $4.3 billion, this is the most expensive resort property ever developed in Las Vegas.

Transportation

At this time public transportation has resumed. You can find the RTC bus schedule which serves The Las Vegas Strip, Fremont Street Experience, and suburbs on the RTC website as well as the precautions they are taking at this time. Uber, Lift, and Taxis are also servicing the Las Vegas area once again, your driver is required to wear a mask as are all passengers. Uber rideshare is temporarily suspended for health reasons.

Precautions Taken Throughout the City

Some safety measures you can expect to see while visiting are as follows.

* Hand washing stations at the entrance of some hotels and casinos

* Hand sanitizing stations throughout the strip

* Social distancing signs and markers all around the city

* Plexi glass at table games where physical distancing is not possible

*Masks worn by all workers and required by all guests

*Limited capacity

*Chairs removed from every other slot machine to avoid two people from sitting near each other

Las Vegas, a city which has it's primary source of revenue coming from the gaming and entertainment industry was hit with an all time low unemployment rate of 29% when Covid-19 hit. With flight prices lower than ever, you might want to consider booking your next trip here. I hope you found the information useful and I will continue to report on anything new as it presents itself.

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