Amidst the current pandemic, a small step toward normalcy has begun as the CDC updated its mask policies. While exemptions still apply, fully vaccinated people may opt to go maskless indoors and outdoor in many situations that were previously recommended. With the news, Las Vegas has updated its state mandate allowing fully vaccinated people to go maskless within CDC guidelines as of May 13th.

Who is considered fully vaccinated?

The United State’s vaccine rate is 36.6% as of May 15th, meaning a majority of Americans remain unvaccinated or are still awaiting their second dose. So, the relaxed mask policy does not apply to a vast majority of visitors and locals alike.

Fully vaccinated is considered 2 weeks after your single dose of the J&J vaccine, or two weeks after your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

If you do not meet these requirements you need to continue wearing a mask and taking all previously recommended precautions. This is true, even for those who are fully vaccinated but have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, according to the CDC.

What are the exemptions?

While the idea of going mask-free is exciting for many, be aware this isn’t an invitation to be without it in every situation. There are still some exemptions to these rules which include masks required:

  • If you are not fully vaccinated as outlined above
  • Any healthcare facility or setting to protect workers and vulnerable populations
  • Where masks are required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace regulation
    • Private companies may still require all customers/employees to wear a mask within their businesses
  • Public transportation isn’t set to expire until September 13th
    • Planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation within the United States
    • Within transportation hubs including airports and stations
    • Fully vaccinated international travelers arriving the United States are still required to get a test within 3 days of arrival

Best mask practices while in Las Vegas

The best thing you can do it just expect to wear your mask at some point during your trip to Vegas. Here are some best practices if you want to avoid potential refusal of entry to places for not wearing a mask.

  1. Wear a mask if not fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated, the relaxed recommendations do not even apply to you.
  2. If fully vaccinated, it is recommended to keep a mask on your person in case a business still requires it for entry. Businesses are still allowed to require masks and refuse service for not abiding by policies.
  3. If you are worried about being questioned, bring your vaccine card with you as proof.
  4. Remain kind and courteous to the business and workers that maintain full mask policies. Rules are not set by the staff, arguing with them does nothing and will not change policies in place. Some companies will continue these practices for all individuals, including those fully vaccinated.
  5. If you have questions about a business’s mask policy you can always phone ahead and ask what their current policies are. That way you know before arriving, or if the policy isn’t what you like you may find another place to go.

Gaming floor capacity is allowed at 100%

As of May 1st, gaming floors were given permission to raise occupancy to 80 percent. By June 1st, many may have 100 percent as an option as long as vaccination rates improve. 8 major companies have already been given permission by the Nevada Gaming Control Board due to high employee vaccination rates.

The properties that can operate at 100 percent capacity are all nine Caesars Entertainment properties, nine MGM Resorts International properties, Stations Casinos properties, Wynn, Encore, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, The Stat, and Silverton.

When it comes to the mask policy for those fully vaccinated, it currently varies by property. The policies, as they have been since the pandemic began, will continue to evolve be it stricter or looser. Flexibility and patience is something that everyone must continue to pocess.

Strip properties who no longer required masks for fully vaccinated guests and workers include Wynn, Encore, The Cosmopolitan, and Caesars. MGM properties however allow fully vaccinated guests, but will still require masks for employees.

If you are vising Vegas, remember to show appreciation to everyone working to make your vacation a memorable one! Be kind, courteous, and respect one another.