The Mississippi Gaming Commission announced on Thursday that the mask mandate for all casino customers and workers would end on Friday, April 30 at 5 p.m.
According to the Sun Herald, the commission stated that all casinos would continue to obey other state and local laws in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The commission also stated that casinos are free to develop their own COVID-19 safety standards, such as regular surface cleaning.
Golden Nugget Casino Biloxi
Chett Harrison, General Manager of the Golden Nugget Casino Biloxi, said, “We do that anyway, even before COVID. Every day, we want it to look crisp and clean every day.”
Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the Mississippi state health officer, did not discuss casinos, but he did say on Twitter on Thursday that he has seen “some resurgence of anti-mask non-science.”
“We look forward to diminishing mask use as vaccinations increase and COVID cases drop. But masks do work”, Dobbs wrote.
MGM Resorts casinos
Masks and social distancing will continue to be needed in all MGM Resorts casinos, including the Beau Rivage in Biloxi. Beau’s regional communications director Mary Cracchiollo Spain in a written statement, as reported by WLOX: “For the safety of our employees and guests, we will continue to require masks at MGM Resorts properties at this time. As vaccination efforts continue, we will reassess our health and safety protocols consistent with guidance from health experts, changing regulatory requirements, and input from our guests and employees.”
Scarlet Pearl casino
The announcement was celebrated at the Scarlet Pearl casino. Scarlet Pearl CEO LuAnn Pappas announced: “(Friday) at 5 p.m., we’re like Mr. Rogers in the neighbourhood. It’s the best day ever. We are going to lift the mask mandate and stop taking temperatures.” Although Pappas reassured that employees and visitors can still wear masks if it makes them feel better.
Some casinos are taking a similar or identical approach to the Scarlet Pearl, allowing staff and visitors to choose whether or not to wear a mask.
Palace Casino Resort
Employees at the Palace Casino Resort will make the call. Keith Crosby, the Palace’s general manager, sees the repeal of limitations as a sign of success, as does Pappas. Crosby said: “The first reaction is a sigh of relief that we got a clear indication that our diligence with cleanliness, social distancing, wearing masks and, more importantly, getting vaccinated has paid off.”
Masks will no longer be needed at the Treasure Bay, but other safety measures such as plexiglass barriers and restricted seating at certain table games will remain in place.
Mississippi casinos were allowed to reopen on May 21, 2020, two months after they were forced to close following the discovery of the state’s first coronavirus cases. The Gaming Commission had previously allowed masks inside casinos unless people were eating or drinking. Members of the casino were also asked to maintain social distance, and a list of COVID-19 symptoms was posted at all entrances, with the suggestion that people not join if they had any of the symptoms mentioned.