LAS VEGAS (AP) — The city of Las Vegas has announced that downtown restaurants and businesses operating under the first two phases of state reopening orders are allowed to extend operations to the sidewalk during regular business hours.
Outdoor dining and sidewalk sales are now permitted. But each business must continue implementing social distancing measures by keeping tables, chairs and other furniture six feet from pedestrian paths, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Nonessential businesses stopped operations in March after Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak implemented a stay-at-home order and required essential businesses to follow additional guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
As part of the first state of reopening the state's economy, Sioslak on Saturday began allowing restaurants to resume letting customers dine inside, but they must make reservations and be separated from other diners, among other requirements.
The city added restrictions, including limits on the size of the public sidewalk frontage, maintaining access to fire hydrants, building entrances and exits and sanitation.
“By allowing this temporary use, the city has foremost in mind providing business owners enhanced opportunities and the public with an orderly atmosphere devoid of any act by any person contrary to the highest community standards,” the city said in a statement.
Some business owners have said the new regulations will encourage more people to come out and enjoy businesses again.
Sisolak last week initially said restaurants within the state's still-shuttered casinos may not reopen yet. But the Nevada Gaming Control Board said Friday the state had reconsidered and would allow them to open under certain circumstances.
Control Board chair Sandra Douglass Morgan discussed the issue with Gov. Steve Sisolak after his initial reopening announcement and “upon further discussion, it was agreed that restaurants on gaming properties should have the option to open as long as they comply with the state and local government requirements,” Michael Lawton, analyst for the state Gaming Control Board, said in an email Friday.
The board said casinos may open their restaurants if they comply with rules set out by state and local governments and can show that there are separate entrances and bathrooms available for restaurant customers to use without customers walking across casinos floors.
Nevada has reported 339 deaths from COVID-19 and more than 6,600 positive cases of the virus.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.