Will Las Vegas Travel Slow Down Due to COVID-19 Uptick?
As cases of COVID-19 increase in Las Vegas, will it stop travelers from visiting the casino town?
After ravaging the casino industry in 2020, it seems the COVID-19 pandemic is back for more. Major gambling towns like Las Vegas are starting to see an increase in positive cases, just weeks after venues were allowed to open at 100% capacity if vaccination requirements were met. Now that cases are up, officials in other states are telling residents not to travel to Sin City or wear a mask if they do go. Will this affect the overall tourism levels of the city?
Significant Risk for Travelers
Officials in Hawaii and Illinois are asking residents not to travel to Las Vegas as it poses a significant risk of catching COVID-19. The most popular activities in the city are indoors and it can get crowded depending on what you are doing. Staying indoors for a prolonged period of time among people who may be infected can increase your risk of infection.
Masks are not required among visitors in Las Vegas anymore, which is a perfect setup for spreading the virus. Many casinos decided to mask up again and now, the entire Clark County where the gambling town is located is requiring employees to wear masks.
Hawaii Lt. Governor Josh Green appeared on television via KLAS recently stating that people are taking a huge risk if they travel to Las Vegas. People are visiting restaurants and casinos, while not wearing a mask. He pointed out that people can catch the virus, be asymptomatic for a few days, and then test positive. In the meantime, anyone the individual has been in contact with can become ill.
A travel advisory was also announced in Illinois by the Chicago Department of Public Health for the state of Nevada. The advisory is urging people to avoid traveling to Nevada if they are unvaccinated. They are asking that individuals who do travel to take a test to check for COVID or quarantine for 10 days.
California officials have also asked residents to think twice before traveling to Nevada or other states that have a high positivity rate for the virus.
Mississippi Casino Reverts to Mask Wearing
As cases of COVID-19 are rising across the US, casino operators are choosing to mask up once again. The Scarlet Pearl Casino on the coast of Mississippi has decided that employees must wear a mask at all times.
Some patrons are glad that employees are masking up while others still think it should be left up to the individual. The Scarlet Pearl is still pushing vaccinations and hope that the majority of its workforce will be vaccinated.
Officials of the casino say that overall, it seems the return of masks are making some members of the community feel more at ease. It makes a difference in the number of people infected. The board of the casino will be meeting this weekend to discuss if any further measures need to be taken.
What the future holds for the casino industry is anyone’s guess. The gambling venues would like to remain open as revenues are key to staying in business. After months of closures, many operators were on their last leg, close to bankruptcy or full closures.
Employees want to remain at work, instead of being laid off in 2020 due to the lack of casinos in operation. Casinos will certainly do everything they can to stay in business and this may mean getting back to full mask mandates in the hopes of avoiding major outbreaks like those that took place last year.
Only time will tell what will happen when it comes to casino business and how they are affected by COVID-19 in the future. Hopefully, we know enough now to at least make smart decisions to avoid full closures in the future.