Bars in Las Vegas – including those in casinos – were permitted to reopen on Sunday (20 September) after being forced to close due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
Bars in the state were first forced to close alongside casinos in March. While they reopened in June, by 10 July, an emergency order from Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak forced bars in seven counties – including Clark County, made up primarily of Las Vegas and the surrounding area – to close again.
While this closure was initially set to last at least two weeks, it ultimately lasted more than two months as counties struggled to meet criteria for reopening.
However, bars in Washoe County and Nye County were permitted to reopen within the past 10 days, with Clark County (including Las Vegas) and Elko County now following.
Sisolak said the decision was based on data related to the prevalence and spread of Covid-19 within these counties.
“I am beyond thrilled that the hard work of Nevada’s residents and businesses has resulted in our Covid-19 data trending in a positive direction, allowing the [Nevada Covid-19 mitigation and management] task force to lift restrictions on bars in counties that previously had these mitigation measures in place due to their transmission risk levels,” Governor Sisolak said.
“I want to thank the Task Force and local governments for their work toward helping to accomplish our overall goal: Safely lift restrictions based on data so our businesses can succeed and our workers can get back on the job.”
Bars must only operate at 50% capacity, tables must be spaced at least six feet apart and face coverings are required for employees, while parties of customers are limited to six members and must not come within six feet of other parties.
“I have consistently been in support of safely lifting restrictions and reopening areas of our economic and social life based on improvements in our data, in addition to strong participation and enforcement plans from local governments,” Sisolak said.
“The work completed by the task force over previous weeks, in addition to their recent actions, represent the state’s commitment to a transparent process, a safe reopening, and coordinated partnerships with our local governments.”