Last Vegas casinos can now choose whether or not to impose mask mandates after the state of Nevada confirmed it is dropping requirements to wear face coverings in most indoor areas.

Vegas casinos have required facemasks be worn for much of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who are fully immunised against the disease have been able to move freely through Vegas’ casino floors and hotel suites.

But the presence of facemasks amongst casino and hotel staff, as well as many tourists who visit the area, means they have become a common part of life in Sin City.

This could now all change after Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said the statewide mask mandate has now ended. While masks will still be required in some settings, for casinos its a green light to fully return to “normal”.

“Just like vaccines, masks are still a great tool we have to slow the spread of the virus,” said Sisolak. “I expect going forward to still see Nevadans and visitors occasionally utilizing masks when they are out in public.”

Vegas And FaceMasks

Vegas was one of the first cities in America to adapt to new facemark regulations when they came into effect in 2020. The city needs tourists to survive, and so implemented a range of measures to prevent the spread of COVID.

These included mandatory masks for unvaccinated staff and visitors, social distancing initiatives on the casino floors, and cashless casino technology.

In the past few months tourists have returned in their thousands of Vegas – and appear generally accepting to mask policies. Major properties such as the Venetian and the Palazzo have been proactive in implementing these policies, but can now drop them if they wish.

Have Masks Been A Success In Vegas?

Singling out one measure in the battle against Covid-19 to gauge the city’s overall success in battling the virus isn’t exactly a productive way to analyze stats. But masks appear to have helped reduce the spread of the disease.

This, alongside social distancing and Vegas’ largely-successful vaccination drive, has seen Covid numbers in Clark County drop from 11,000 new cases in mid-January to just over 1,000 now.

Masks are thought to have been effective in the battle against the more-spreadable Omicron variant, which impacted much of the US economy over the Christmas period and into January.

To date there have been more than 500,000 cases of Covid in Clark County – whose population is 2.2 million. There have been 7,220 deaths.

And the loosening of mask mandates in casinos and resorts doesn’t mean masks are gone forever. Where are masks still required in Las Vegas include all locations and services subject to federal regulations, such as:

  • Airports
  • Trains
  • School buses
  • Public transit
  • Federal courthouses
  • Taxis

“The State will no longer require masks in public places, but employers and organizations, including school districts, may set their own policies,” added Sisolak. “And I encourage them to work with their employees and communities to ensure that policies are in place.”

USA Today reported over the Super Bowl weekend that Las Vegas residents and tourists had a mixed reaction to the dropping of the mask mandate.

One person interviewed wearing a mask said: “The thing is is that we’re still in a pandemic and it’s not over. We don’t know when it’s going to be over. And I know a lot of people have mixed emotions on it. If you don’t want to wear a mask, don’t wear a mask, but don’t give grief to the folks that are still wearing a mask.”

Joe Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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