LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- In a press conference on Tuesday, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced capacity limitations will be adjusted from a maximum of 50 to 250 people at large gatherings.
Under the new directive, trade shows, conventions and live entertainment in Las Vegas and across the state may resume with restrictions.
According to Sisolak, live events may host up to 1,000 attendees divided into group groups of 250 people, with no "cross-pollination." For venues with more than 2,500 fixed seats wanting additional capacity, these companies must submit plans to the state for review and approval, Sisolak said.
The new guidelines go into effective 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1.
By Monday, Oct. 5, all businesses subject to capacity limits must post signs at public entrances identifying the occupancy limitation. Businesses with a fire code capacity fewer than 100 may allow up to 50 people if they are able to maintain social distancing.
On Wednesday, the Governor signed Emergency Directive 33 which specifies that parks and recreation areas, sports courts and fields, libraries, parking lots, private clubs, bowling alleys, arcades, amusement parks, museums and zoos may allow access to the public under the new guidelines. The directive also allows in-person showings and open houses for single and multi-family residences to operate with certain restrictions.
Sisolak said qualifying larger venues must submit a “Large Gathering COVID Preparedness & Safety Plan” to the local health authority for review "for compliance with local public health standards and to confirm that the event will not overly burden the local public health system."
The plan then goes to the state for final approval.
The governor is expected to provide details on youth sports and recreational adult sports in his next update.
"If any state is going to come back stronger, it's going to be this one. It's going to be Nevada," Sisolak said.
“Today’s news is a great first step for our local meeting and convention industries. We encourage everyone who visits, works or lives in Las Vegas to continue taking all the necessary safety and health precautions to allow us to quickly and fully reopen the destination," said Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority President and CEO Steve Hill.
Station Casinos said they were excited for the opportunity to host larger meetings and events.
“Our team of sales and catering professionals are ready to guide our clients through the planning and onsite process and share the best practices and creative solutions that foster a safe and productive meeting or event," said Deanna Burgess, Station Casinos Corporate VP of Sales.
Sisolak said Nevada remained an attractive destination amid the pandemic, despite the fact that the state’s cumulative positivity rate remains the nation’s ninth-highest, according to the COVID Tracking Project. He celebrated that the seven-day average of the positivity rate had dipped to 7.8% — about half of what it was on July 9. He told convention organizers that states with looser restrictions are likely to experience surges of new cases that could upend their plans.
The gambling industry continues to face challenges, particularly on the Las Vegas Strip, due to limited air travel, lack of mid-week convention business and an absence of arena events and entertainment options. McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and the regional Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority each reported more than a 50% drop in activity compared to mid-2019. The Nevada Gaming Control Board is due on Wednesday to publish a casino winnings report showing sluggish state revenues from gambling halls.
Other restrictions will remain in effect — including the 50% capacity limit governing businesses like casinos and restaurants.
Sisolak said the month-old coronavirus response task force that holds weekly meetings and sets rules for public activities in virus “hot spots” such as Las Vegas, Reno and Elko will remain responsible for overseeing restrictions beyond the statewide directives, which function as a baseline minimum.
To find guidance and required signage for employees and businesses, click here.
READ THE EMERGENCY DIRECTIVE HERE:
READ THE FULL GUIDANCE HERE:
Nevada Guidance for Safe Gatherings Celebrations Ceremonies and Events
Nevada Places of Worship and Life Rites Ceremonies
Nevada COVID 19 Guidance for Gatherings at Private Residences
WATCH THE FULL PRESS CONFERENCE:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.