Crowds hit Las Vegas as casinos allowed 50 percent capacity Monday

Las Vegas is back in business: Thousands ignore social distancing to swarm the Strip with MORE crowds expected this week as casinos reopen at 50% capacity

  • Crowds were seen strolling the Las Vegas Strip on Saturday and guests gathered shoulder-to-shoulder inside Sin City casinos
  • Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed an emergency directive on Friday that loosens state’s COVID restrictions
  • The capacity for gaming floors and other establishments will increase from 35 to 50 percent on Monday
  • The state saw only 222 new cases with just one new death on Sunday, fueling optimism about a comeback
  •  The capacity increase includes gyms, arcades, racetracks, mini-golf facilities and amusement parks

Crowds were seen strolling the Las Vegas Strip on Saturday and guests gathered shoulder-to-shoulder inside Sin City casinos as capacity restrictions are expected to ease to 50 percent on Monday.

Nevada’s ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ plan remains on schedule and Gov. Steve Sisolak signed an emergency directive on Friday that loosens the state’s coronavirus restrictions, according to a press release.

The capacity for gaming floors and other establishments will increase from 35 to 50 percent on Monday as the state saw only 222 new cases with just one new death on Sunday, according to state health data. 

The governor’s announcement on Friday seemed to open the pent-up floodgates, encouraging people to hit the slots and tables after more than a year of restrictions even though the official capacity rules don’t go into effect until Monday.

In total, the state has counted 299,287 cases with 5,118 deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 989,342 doses of the vaccine have been given.

A photo posted to Twitter shows a view of the Las Vegas Strip on Saturday as people were seen walking to visit casinos


People are seen walking in front of the Fremont Casino, left, and down the Fremont Street Experience LED display on Thursday night in downtown Las Vegas just ahead of the governor’s announcement; afterward, even more people were seen jamming the streets, local media reported and social media showed

One TikToker posted a video of herself dancing without a mask in front of a Las Vegas casino this weekend while others pass by

Another TikToker shows a view inside a Las Vegas casino as patrons wear masks to comply with coronavirus restrictions


Another TikToker posted a view of shoulder-to-shoulder crowds on Fremont street in downtown Las Vegas this weekend. People were pictured gathered in front of the Golden Nugget

Casinos had operated at a limited capacity of 25% from November until February 15, when they were allowed to open with 35% capacity, Travel + Leisure reported. 

The capacity increase scheduled for Monday includes gyms and other fitness establishments, arcades, racetracks, bowling alleys, mini-golf, pool halls and amusement and theme parks.

‘The 14-day moving average test positivity rate has steadily declined, but is still over the 5% threshold recommended by the WHO for reopening,’ Sisolak noted in the executive order. 

Thousands of guests were seen shoulder-to-shoulder inside casinos and stores while largely obeying ‘please wear a mask’ signs, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

One woman with a mask around her neck was told by two suited employees inside The Cosmopolitan put her mask on her face and she obeyed, the outlet reported. 

Lines formed outside multiple walk-up bars as the air smelled of cigarettes and weed permeated the air. 

Some people were pictured inside Las Vegas casinos not wearing masks as casinos worked to enforce mask mandates


Crowds were seen wearing masks walking down packed Las Vegas streets on the strip in videos posted to TikTok on Sunday


People were seen packing sidewalks on the Las Vegas Strip in videos posted to TikTok this weekend ahead of Nevada easing capacity restrictions on Monday

People were seen walking near the Flamingo casino on the Las Vegas Strip in a video posted to TikTok on Sunday


A small crowd is seen gathered outside watching the Bellagio fountains in videos posted to Instagram on Sunday

Videos posted to Instagram show crowds gathered to watch the Bellagio fountains as cars backed Las Vegas Boulevard this weekend

Yolando Hagwood, 54, told the outlet he was visiting Las Vegas for the first time since August 2019 and was wearing two masks.

‘I think most businesses are trying to adhere and still let people have a good time,’ Hagwood said. 

‘You can’t tackle people. You’re gonna see people with no masks. You’re gonna see people not social distancing. But you just try to do your part.’

Beginning March 3, casinos owned by MGM Resorts resumed round-the-clock operations, Travel + Leisure reported. 

Those casinos include the Mandalay Bay, Park MGM and The Mirage resorts – which had closed for a few days in the middle of each week during the pandemic because of decreased business, the magazine reported. 

There have been a total of 29,438,007 coronavirus cases in the United States with 534,880 deaths. 

A map shows the total number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the United States on Sunday night with which states are increasing

A graph shows a recent decline in coronavirus cases since January as the country has recorded a total of 29,438,007 infections

The number of total coronavirus infections has steadily declined since peaking at the start of February, a chart shows

A graph shows the total number of deaths from the coronavirus in the United States per day in February and March

A graph shows the total number of deaths from the coronavirus in the United States per day since the start of the pandemic

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