Las Vegas officials decide against mask mandate for tourists on Strip, in casinos
Las Vegas officials on Tuesday decided against imposing a mask mandate for tourists on the Strip, citing tourism concerns.
Instead, the Clark County Commission voted to require employees wear masks indoors at places such as malls and clubs.
The decision comes after the Southern Nevada Health District announced last week that it recommends masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.
The mandate will become effective on Thursday at 12.01 a.m. and will be reviewed later on Aug. 17, according to USA Today.
“We have already been through a shutdown and a start-up,” Clark County Commissioner Jim Gibson said. “We cannot afford to have major conventions choose to go elsewhere.”
Gibson also explained that the tourism industry is watching Las Vegas’s elected body and using its decisions as an exemplar to react to changing circumstances amid the pandemic.
“We’ve got to do something,” he said, according to the news outlet.
But despite the vote, some locals have said that they will not abide by the mandate.
“It will fail to be enforced,” Monica Ursua, who spoke during the Clark County Commission’s emergency meeting on coronavirus, said. “We the people say, ‘No more’,” she added, according to USA Today.
Several speakers throughout the meeting expressed their desire to get rid of mask mandates in the city as well as their opposition to the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Any decision a person takes involves risks. Vaccines should be up to us,” Katrin Ivanoffn, a speaker at the meeting, said, according to USA Today.
Las Vegas and its surrounding community has experienced a surge of coronavirus infections due to the highly infectious delta variant of COVID-19.
“The delta variant has changed the game,” Brian Labus, a longtime Southern Nevada Health District epidemiologist, told the news outlet. He said that the use of masks in the city is being revisited “because we’re still in the middle of a pandemic.”
“We know masks reduce your risk, and the risk of spreading the virus to others,” Labus said. “We don’t want to go back to closures and restrictions in capacity and social distancing.”