Las Vegas visitors, get ready to cover up. Travelers and residents in Nevada are now required to wear masks when they are indoors in a public place. That means visitors to the city’s dozens of hotel-casinos must wear face coverings, except when eating or drinking.
The order goes into effect 12:01 a.m. Friday.
“No shirt. No shoes. No mask. No service,” Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said Wednesday in announcing the order.
Citing guidance from health officials, Sisolak said masks would be required whenever people are indoors at a venue other than a private home. California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a similar mask requirement last week.
Nevada’s state-wide order came as the number of COVID-19 cases is rising. As of Wednesday, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services reported 14,362 confirmed cases and 494 deaths. In the 24-hour period included in Wednesday’s statistics, 365 new cases of the novel coronavirus were reported, the fifth highest number for a single day since reporting began.
Also, Caesars Entertainment on Wednesday launched its own mandatory mask policy. As the rule went into effect, security guards handed out face coverings at the company’s Las Vegas resorts. The requirement extends to all Caesars properties in the U.S. and Canada.
“Our intention is to talk to people at our properties who aren’t wearing masks, give them masks [and] ask them to wear them,” said Rich Broome, a Caesars spokesman. “If they continue to refuse, we would ask them to leave the property.”
MGM Resorts International announced masks would be mandatory for guests at all properties nationwide.
Nevada joins more than 15 states and the District of Columbia in issuing state-wide orders requiring people to wear face coverings. California, Washington state and New Mexico have orders in place, but not all orders are the same. Some require face coverings anywhere in public, others just at indoor or specific venues such as on mass transit.
Las Vegas started to reopen June 4 after casinos received a green light from health experts and the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Resorts have implemented new measures because of the pandemic, including placing Plexiglas barriers at gaming tables, requiring employees to wear masks and cleaning cards at the tables after each use.
Still, many visitors eager to party weren’t inclined to social distance or wear masks as they hit the pool or the bar.
L.A. Times staff writer Arash Markazi said he was mask-shamed when he visited Vegas. He reflected on the vibe in his story: “Welcome to the new Las Vegas, where the coronavirus pandemic is in the mental rear-view mirror of many visitors, and mask shaming is in vogue for some tourists trying to return to normalcy.”
Here’s one of the videos he made that shows crowds of people in the casino:
Las Vegas resorts, restaurants and attractions have been reopening gradually. By the Fourth of July, 21 of the roughly 35 resorts along the Strip will be open and joining in the celebrations.