Nevada Closes Bars in Several Counties, Including Las Vegas

The order does not apply to bars in casinos.

While much of Las Vegas remains open for business, Nevada’s Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered the re-closure of bars in several counties on Friday in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

The new directive applies to seven counties in the state, including Clark County where Las Vegas is, and is made based on several criteria, including the average number of tests performed each day and the rate of positive tests.

“We know that COVID-19 can easily spread when people are congregating for long periods of time, like inside a bar,” Sisolak said in a statement, citing similar actions to close bars in states like Texas and Florida. “Recently, Dr. Fauci, the US's top infectious-disease expert, advised that congregating in bars poses a significant risk and is one of the most dangerous things people could do right now. We must heed his advice.”

Restaurants in Nevada, which reopened with 50 percent capacity on May 9, can stay open, but must close their bar areas.

According to Nevada's Reno-Gazette Journal, Sisolak's COVID-19 response team declined to address why casinos are not affected by the new order at a press conference on Friday. The governor's communications office did not immediately respond to request for comment from Travel + Leisure in regards to how or if the order affects casinos.

bartender wearing a face mask
Ethan Miller/Getty

In addition to closing bars — originally allowed to open on May 29 — in certain parts of Nevada, Sisolak restricted seating at restaurants statewide to no more than six people at a table.

Sisolak added “these are not decisions that I like to make, but I assure you, I am not making it lightly… Protecting the health and safety of Nevadans is and always will be my top priority. Right now, that means reimplementing some of these restrictions in order to save lives and protect our health care system.”

Nevada first allowed casinos in Las Vegas to reopen on June 4 and then on June 17, the Nevada Gaming Control Board made face masks mandatory while playing table games if there wasn’t a physical barrier separating players and dealers. About three weeks after the opening of Sin City, a statewide order was issued mandating masks in public places.

Nevada recorded 27,600 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Nevada Health Response, more than 80 percent of which were reported in Clark County. That is a significant increase from when Nevada first reopened casinos, reporting over 8,900 confirmed cases statewide at the time.

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