The COVID pandemic has dramatically changed how entertainment, travel, dining, and even basic services are conducted. How does that affect Las Vegas, the Entertainment Capital of the World? Are there still cool places to go on the strip?
Consider that we don’t just visit Las Vegas, we live and work here. Emergencies and personal needs don’t simply stop because we are in the middle of a pandemic. The health and safety of all visitors and locals on and around the Las Vegas strip is of the utmost importance and key to keeping Vegas open during COVID.
Here’s what you need to know about current safety protocols, what is open for business in Las Vegas and the surrounding Clark County and how those businesses may have had to adapt for visitors and locals alike.
Table of Contents
- What is Open in Las Vegas During COVID?
- General COVID Rules, Regulations, and Testing
- Frequently Asked Questions About What Is Open During COVID In Las Vegas
What is Open in Las Vegas During COVID?
First, the good news: Las Vegas is open. There have been adaptations due to Nevada health and safety rules, of course, but Vegas is definitely open and ready to welcome everyone. There’s no bad news here. So, what’s open in Vegas during COVID?
Hotels and Other Accommodations
All major hotel operations are open and welcoming guests, special events, and conventions, including MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, Venetian and Palazzo, Wynn, Boyd Gaming, select Stations Casinos and others.
Many brands are offering less-contact or fully contactless check-in and other services. Whether through a lobby kiosk or a fully mobile phone-based app experience, guest services are ever more in the hands of the guest as they use Bluetooth “keys” to open their rooms, order services, and find their way around properties with digital maps, chat, and other virtual customer services.
While a few locally-loved spaces like the Stations Casinos’ two Fiesta locations and Texas Station, as well as The Palms Hotel and Casino have remained closed, more have opened and will be reopening.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Virgin Hotels opened just east of the Las Vegas Strip, and Resorts World Las Vegas. Together they comprise three hotel brands associated with the Hilton Honors Loyalty Program, opened on the northern part of the Strip. Circa Resort and Casino was opened by local casino legend Derek Stevens, opening onto the Downtown Fremont Street Experience.
The Venetian Resort Las Vegas
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Events, Conventions and Sports
We’ve said it before, we will say it again; Las Vegas is the Entertainment Capital of the World. While many venues are working with smaller audiences to enforce social distancing, tickets are still selling for your favorite concerts, such as Garth Brooks in 2022. Residencies, Cirque du Soleil shows, conventions and sporting events are selling tickets as well.
Attending your sporting events in person? These venues are are all hosting seasonal games as well as other events:
Michelob Ultra Arena (home of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces)
Thomas and Mack Center (home of the UNLV Rebels)
Allegiant Stadium (home of the NFL team the Las Vegas Raiders)
T-Mobile Arena (home of the NHL team The Vegas Golden Knights)
Las Vegas Ballpark (home of the Las Vegas Aviators)
Many events are also being offered outdoors. The benefit of Las Vegas weather being generally mild, even in the winter months, means more venues are offering outdoor options. These include sports on the biggest screens at Stadium Swim at Circa, open-air music and stage offerings at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, the Beach at Mandalay Bay and Park MGM, to name a few.
Mandalay Bay Las Vegas
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Dining on the Strip and in Las Vegas
A mecca of cuisine for everyone, Las Vegas restaurants are open and serving. You can still enjoy the best breakfast in Las Vegas or many of the Las Vegas restaurants you have come to love. Sadly, one result of the ongoing pandemic has been that the Las Vegas food scene has seen a fair number of restaurants close their doors for good.
Resilience and tenacity win out, however. Not only are Vegas eateries taking your orders, they are adapting in creative and conscientious ways that serve both their business and—most importantly—diners.
How to Support Restaurants and Enjoy Dining in Las Vegas During COVID
1. Take it to go. Enjoy in your hotel room, a bench along Las Vegas Boulevard, or any number of parks or open spaces in Las Vegas. More restaurants than ever, including some of the more upscale Strip restaurants, are offering menus you can take out instead of dining in. Some even offer curbside drop-off or delivery so you don’t have to go inside the building.
2. Dining in? Check with the restaurant for reservation requirements or limited seating due to social distancing. Some restaurants have implemented a maximum dining time per table in order to remain accessible to a wider dining audience.
Let’s also celebrate the spaces that opened or reopened during COVID as well. Check out our Las Vegas Strip Map 2022 for so many options.
Delilah, a succulent and deliciously decadent supper club opened on the Strip at Wynn Las Vegas, and One Steakhouse, under the Morton Group and Chef Patrick Munster, began offering their updated steakhouse classics at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
Virgin Hotels Las Vegas
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Downtown Las Vegas
DTLV has welcomed Vegas Test Kitchen, which promotes chefs on a pop-up and rotating basis and has given an opportunity during the pandemic to many new and locally favored food concepts. Peyote, next door in the Fergusons Downtown, opened with a focus on outdoor fire cooking and offers both an indoor/outdoor bar and a large patio inside a beautifully curated cactus garden for outdoor dining. Main St. Provisions opened on Main Street in the 18b Arts District with a fresh, rustic, elevated take on new American cuisine and specialty cocktails, and offers all-day brunch on Sundays.
Al Solito Posto, which breathes into Nonna’s favorite dishes a new life, opened on the west side in Tivoli Village, and offers a killer cocktail program, great wines, and elevated tastes with its sophisticated take on comforting Italian cuisine. ASP’s sister wine bar, Ada’s, reopened down the lane with new chef Jackson Stamper offering shareable plates, alongside wine and board specials.
Bang Boom Fine Foods from Top Chef alum Elia Aboumrad-Page, Christian Page, and Tony Angotti, has opened with a bang and a boom. Offering French cuisine mixed with American classics, you can find happy hour, dinner or brunch menus for all. Valley Cheese and Wine reopened under new ownership in July 2020 and is helmed by Diana Brier ACS CCSE, CCP (all those letters mean she’s the cheese expert you need to know). VCW offers a broad selection of, of course, wine and cheese, but they do so much more by adding in unique charcuterie, happy hour wine and board specials, specialty foods and baskets, classes and events.
General COVID Rules, Regulations, and Testing
As of this writing, there are a few general rules required by state and local mandates, so be prepared. As rules are constantly changing, we suggest contacting your event venue for updated rules including vaccination and partial vaccination requirements, masking regulations, COVID-19 testing requirements and other rules that may impact your stay.
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Nevada Emergency Directive 047 states “all persons in counties with ‘substantial’ or ‘high’ community transmission rates will be required to wear face coverings while in public indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status.”
As of this writing, masks are required in all casino and restaurant public spaces, unless seated at a private table and actively eating or drinking. Masks are required on all public transportation.
An event operator may allow fully vaccinated, private, pre-registered or ticketed guests at certain large events to remove their masks while attending an event. For example, Allegiant Stadium, host of the NFL’s Pro Bowl 2022, requires ticketed guests to prove that they are fully vaccinated and therefore may allow guests to remove their masks while in the stadium.
Currently, there is no state, county, or city vaccine requirement to allow only partially vaccinated or fully vaccinated guests to enter private or public spaces. However, private businesses, convention operators, special events organizers or proprietors may impose a vaccine requirement. This entails access and use of their shops, dining areas, shows, events, or otherwise privately owned or organized spaces or events, regardless of public or private use.
If you are traveling domestically, whether driving or flying into Nevada from within the United States, there are currently no requirements about vaccines or testing. Masks are required on public transportation including trains, planes, ride-share services, buses and related services. If you are traveling internationally, the US currently requires you to be fully vaccinated. If arriving by air, you will also need a test—either a PCR or antigen test is accepted—within one calendar day of your original departing flight.
The Southern Nevada Health District offers no-cost testing sites throughout the Las Vegas Valley. There are also a number of free testing sites run by pharmacies such as CVS or Walgreens, local medical centers, places of worship and various pop-up locations. Be sure to search whether or not an appointment is necessary and what turnaround times are offered if you are in a time crunch. For faster results, there are testing centers that will guarantee results as fast as the same day, usually for a fee. Travel related testing, considered recreational, may also incur a fee.
Frequently Asked Questions About What Is Open During COVID In Las Vegas
Where can I get a COVID test in Las Vegas on the Strip?
Are pools open on the Strip in Las Vegas during COVID?
Do I need a negative COVID test to visit the Strip?
Las Vegas currently does not have any testing requirements for visitors, but travelers are required to wear masks on public transportation, such as Vegas Strip buses.