Las Vegas officially reopened today, but the crowds didn’t wait

Jun 1, 2021

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Las Vegas didn’t fully reopen until today, but that didn’t stop large crowds from heading to Sin City over the Memorial Day weekend, resulting in traffic jams that stretched for miles near the Nevada-California border.

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Check out the traffic seen from the air in a small plane and posted by Antonina Shevchenko.

The Nevada Highway Patrol said in a tweet Monday that Interstate 15 was backed up late into the day as people left Nevada to return home after the long weekend.

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By 10 a.m., traffic was at a near standstill for 26 miles, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Police patrolled the area, resulting in 252 traffic stops, 80 shoulder and off-road violations, 150 moving violations, seven crashes and five DUI arrests, which hopefully isn’t an indication of what’s to come.

Related: 8 things to know about Vegas during COVID-19

As of June 1, Las Vegas‘ COVID-19 restrictions were fully lifted for visitors. According to Las Vegas’ official website, all restaurants, stores and casinos will be allowed to return to operating at 100% capacity.

Las Vegas has fully reopened, but the city is still encouraging residents and visitors to follow CDC guidelines, including mask-wearing and social distancing. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)

Large gatherings will again be allowed, as well. However, the city urges residents and visitors to continue observing CDC guidelines regarding mask-wearing and social distancing.

Related: 9 ways Las Vegas is different in the age of COVID-19

“Increasing vaccination rates, a low positivity rate and normal hospitalization rates all justify the lifting of restrictions,” the website says, noting that masks are still required in medical settings and on public transportation.

Las Vegas gradually reopened parks and outdoor recreational areas by late April and more than a dozen casinos by mid-May, utilizing a phased approach. (Photo by LPETTET/Getty Images)

Related: How to avoid resort fees in Vegas

Overall, the city has taken a phased approach to returning to normalcy. As of late April, playgrounds, community and senior centers, outdoor workout areas, volleyball and basketball courts, and athletic fields had fully reopened, and as of mid-May, more than a dozen casinos were already approved to operate at full capacity.

Related: Parking fees are back in Vegas; Here’s how to avoid them

With the full reopening, Nevada has eliminated the ban on surge pricing for rideshare services, which the state put in place to prevent price gouging during the pandemic. The lifting of restrictions is expected to draw more visitors and also increase the number of Lyft and Uber rides available.

Featured photo by Andrey Denisyuk/Getty Images.

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