LAS VEGAS – The surge of COVID-19 in Nevada is now at “wildfire levels,” and new statewide restrictions that start Tuesday will impact travelers visiting this gambling and entertainment destination.
“We are on a rapid trajectory that threatens to overwhelm our health care system, our frontline health workers, and your access to care,” Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Sunday. “So it’s time to act.”
What does the new “statewide pause” mean for vacationers visiting The Strip? Here’s what you need to know about the new restrictions.
When do the new restrictions start?
They start at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.
How long will they last?
The will be in place for three weeks, according to Sisolak.
Will they impact my plans at hotels and casinos?
They could. The biggest change tourists will experience inside resorts is a limit on the number of people allowed inside. The following places must reduce their capacity to 25 percent:
- Art galleries
- Bowling alleys
- Amusement and theme parks
- Mini golf
How will the restrictions be enforced at resorts?
The state is in constant contact with the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Sisolak said.
“I had conversations with most of our gaming operators in the past 24 hours,” Sisolak said. “I can assure you that the full force of the Nevada Gaming Control Board will be behind the implementation and the enforcement of these 25 percent requirements, and if they don’t follow them, they will suffer the consequences as delineated but the gaming control board.”
Those capacity restrictions also apply to restaurants and bars.
Can I still walk into a restaurant?
Not without a reservation.
The statewide pause will affect all restaurants and bars that serve food in the following ways:
- Reservations are now required for in-person dining, except at fast food restaurants and food courts
- Capacity will be reduced from 50 to 25 percent
- No more than four customers can be at a table.
“I know the majority of our bars and restaurants are doing their best, but these settings are proven to be high risk because they allow the opportunity for people to remove their face coverings in indoor settings around people outside of their household,” Sisolak said. “That’s how the virus spreads.”
Are there limitations on private gatherings, including Thanksgiving?
Starting Tuesday the following will apply to private gatherings – likely cutting into many Thanksgiving dinner party plans:
- No more than 10 people can attend
- No more than two households can participate
What about public gatherings?
The following limits will be in place for public gatherings:
- Capacity must be reduced from 250 to 50 people, or 25 percent of fire code capacity, whichever is smaller. That includes at churches.
Are there any changes to the mask mandate?
Yes, the mandate has been expanded.
Masks are required at any time you are around someone not part of your immediate household, including during private gatherings inside and outside.
What isn’t affected by the new restrictions?
The three-week restrictions do not apply or change Nevada’s current health and safety protocols, such as capacity limitations for:
- K-12 schools
- community and recreation centers
- retail stores
- hair and nail salons
- body art or piercing establishments
- massage and spa establishments
- medicinal or recreational cannabis dispensaries
Editor’s note: Although the governor’s office said Sunday that fast food restaurants would be required to take reservations for in-person dining, the printed directives released on Monday exempt fast food restaurants and food courts from the reservation requirement. This story has been edited to reflect that change.
Contributing: Joe Jacquez, Reno Gazette Journal.
Ed Komenda writes about Las Vegas for the Reno Gazette Journal and USA Today Network. Do you care about democracy? Then support local journalism by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal right here.