Gov. Steve Sisolak imposed a mandatory closure of nonessential businesses including casinos, resorts, restaurants, and bars starting at noon on March 18 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Casinos, hotels, and motels must remain closed for a minimum of 30 days.
Gaming machines in eateries and bars must close within 24 hours.
Restaurants will still be permitted to offer drive-thru, takeout, and delivery services, but no in-restaurant dining will be allowed. Essential businesses, such as airports, banks, post offices, hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacies, urgent care centers, hardware stores, and gas stations will be allowed to remain open.
“I’m telling nonessential businesses: you have to find a way to service your customers through delivery, drive-thrus, curbside pickup, or front-door service, or close your doors,” Sisolak says.
Movie theaters, gyms, salons, and malls also have to close.
Restaurants or bars located within gaming properties are subject to the same restrictions.
The Culinary Union demands every Nevada employer pay all of their employees (including part-time workers) and extend health care benefits.
The decision follows similar closures in France, Italy, and elsewhere in the U.S. Reno implemented its own mandates that affect restaurants and bars starting on Friday.
The health department reports 42 active cases of coronavirus in Southern Nevada. A man in his 60s with underlying medical conditions died in Las Vegas after he was hospitalized, according to the Southern Nevada Health District. There are 55 active cases of COVID-19 in Nevada.
An estimated 296,900 people work in the leisure and hospitality industries in March 2020 in Las Vegas, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
The unprecedented closing of the hospitality industry in Las Vegas comes amid calls to the federal government from independent restaurants and bars in Las Vegas to send help.
Restaurateur Elizabeth Blau, co-founder of the Las Vegas-based Women’s Hospitality Initiative, has started a petition aimed at Gov. Sisolak requesting unemployment benefits, tax credits for health benefits, and more assistance from the federal government to help the food and beverage community as it lays off employees and faces possible closings. The petition also requests loan abatements and the elimination of payroll and state sales taxes for restaurants and bars, “so we can form a long-term plan to operate our businesses and inform our employees they have a secure future.”
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