Atlantic City Casinos to Ditch Social Distancing, May Lift Mask Mandate

It has been over a year of Covid-19 restrictions and with talks of people receiving a vaccine, the threat of the pandemic is slowly dying down. For the past one month or so, a number of states in the United States have been advocating for gradual lifting of Covid-19 restrictions. 

In New Jersey for instance, the Governor, Phil Murphy already signed an executive order number 242 that allows for the systematic reopening of businesses. The order has addressed the wearing of masks and social distancing regulations; wearing of masks indoors will no longer be mandatory and so will keeping of social distance in public places. 

 

Breaking the news on social media

While it might be another few weeks before things go back to how they were before the pandemic, the Governor has already taken to social media to give hope to his people. On his twitter account, Murphy posted that the mandate which stated that everybody should be in a mask while indoors will no longer be effective at the start of the last week of May. However, the governor still encouraged those that operate inside confined spaces to provide face masks for their customers, staff and guests. 

The land based casino establishments are among entertainment businesses that were affected by the strict social distancing guidelines. From total closure to 35% capacity a few months ago, the sector has been operating just to sustain its expenditure. 

Under the new directive of the state order, gambling venues in New Jersey will now be allowed to operate without much regard for the six foot distance between individuals. It will now be upon operators to decide when and if employees and patrons within their premises will wear masks. 

 

Effecting the masks mandate

When the executive order will be affected, business premises and authorities that enforce the mask mandate will be at liberty to either demand for people to wear masks or not. Social distancing will also soon become a thing of the past as enforcers are given power to decide when to observe it. 

As it is, many casinos and entertainment spots that have indoor operations made renovations to their indoor spaces to observe social distance. Most of these adjustments are permanent so there is a chance that they will be the new norm. 

Starting from June 2021, the indoor limit that had been earlier set will be completely scrapped. The limit has set the capacity of most establishments to be between 50 and 250 people. This is now going to be a thing of the past as people get the freedom to invite everyone they wish to their occasions, have all willing parties to attend places of worship and hold meetings freely. By the end of the year, big events will have made a comeback in Atlantic City

 

Events leading up to the current state of affairs

The governor of New Jersey has from the start of the pandemic been actively involved in ensuring that the virus is contained within his state. It is not surprising therefore that this is among the first states to record a drop in Covid-19 numbers. The past few weeks have witnessed an impressive achievement of benchmarks set to establish that an area is free of the pandemic. 

In addition to bringing the infection rate down, there has also been an increase in the number of people turning out to receive the vaccination. This to a large extent has contributed to the low infection rate reported in the last few weeks. As has been reported on several occasions, the governor of New Jersey has successfully leveraged facts, data and science to steer the state to recovery from Covid-19. 

Judging from the many briefings that the governor had on Covid-19, it is obvious that he put his people first when making directives during the pandemic period. Citing data from the last 14 days, Murphy is confident that the decrease recorded is a true impression of the entire state’s health situation. He also acknowledges the efforts that others have made to ensure that the fight against Covid-19 has been won in NJ. 

From state data, it has been reported that over 4.7 million people living in the state of NJ have received the Covid-19 shot, albeit one shot. The availability of a vaccine has brought a ray of hope to the entire planet; it is only a matter of time and life will go back to normal. Most casinos in the Garden State started going back to 100% capacity in mid may; this was after the governor had announced that there were plans to go back to life before Covid-19 earlier in the month. 

 

The gaming industry across the US

The operators and investors in the casino businesses around the US have for the past few weeks been looking at the future differently. After more than 16 months of struggling businesses, many are now operating as usual. This is after many states around the United States gave directives to have pandemic regulations lifted. Mississippi was among the first to go down this route. 

As the pangs of the pandemic loosen, the Gaming Commission for the various states has allowed casinos to individually come up with guidelines to control the spread of Covid-19 within their premises. Until the pandemic has been totally wiped out, casinos have been encouraged to continue regular disinfecting just to take precaution. 

If you are a gambling fan living in Las Vegas, you must have already heard that the state has announced that those who have been vaccinated will no longer need to wear masks in casinos. Gaming operators, Encore and Wynn Las Vegas have already begun implementing this directive. Just look around the casino floor, the next time you visit; those without masks are probably casino members who have been vaccinated.

 

Conclusion

Guests and visitors of Caesars Entertainment, Las Vegas Sands Corp and MGM Resorts International are free to walk into these establishments without masks. While every venue has a unique twist to the policy the underlying rule is that the vaccinated do not need to wear masks.

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