Restaurants Throughout Illinois Prepare for June 26 Reopening, Now Including Chicago

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Phase 4 reopening plan will roll out across Illinois on June 26. As of today, that will also include Chicago. Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced today that all Chicago restaurants will be allowed to serve diners indoors at 25% capacity, which is one week earlier than her previously planned date of July 1. 

“Our reopening will only work if residents continue to act responsibly. Critically important,” said Lightfoot yesterday. “I know that all of us are happy to see our favorite spots begin to reopen over these past few weeks, myself included. And what we’ve seen so far has been encouraging.”

Restaurants and bars will be limited to no more than 25% of listed building occupancy, with a maximum of 50 people per room or floor. Operators must space tables at least 6 feet apart and allow no more than 10 patrons per table.

Lightfoot highlighted the surge in new COVID-19 cases in other states that reopened too soon or with poor compliance to safety practices. “We will not allow that to be the narrative of Chicago,” she continued, “but that really depends upon each of you being smart, being careful, wearing masks when you’re out in public, making sure that you’re adhering to social distancing, and continuing to do the hand hygiene requirements that we know make a huge difference.”

There have been 4,333 total deaths and 86,179 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chicago’s Cook County. State-wide, Illinois has tallied 6,580 deaths and 135,470 cases to date. Nationwide, new cases rose 1.4% today.

Yesterday, California’s governor made wearing a mask inside almost all public buildings mandatory in all cities. Today, Illinois Restaurant Association president Sam Toia said that he would rather see Illinois align with California: requiring mask-wearing but allowing restaurants to open without a capacity limit.

On June 26, almost all cities in Illinois, including Chicago, will allow the following establishments to operate under these official Phase 4 guidelines. These complement the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s restaurant guidebook and other federal safety guidelines which can be found here.

  • Gatherings: All gatherings of 50 people or fewer are allowed with this limit subject to change based on latest data & guidance
  • Travel: Travel should follow IDPH and CDC approved guidance
  • Health care: All health care providers are open
  • Education and child care: P-12 schools, higher education, all summer programs, and child care open with IDPH approved safety guidance
  • Outdoor recreation: All outdoor recreation allowed
  • Businesses:
    • Manufacturing: All manufacturing open with IDPH approved safety guidance
    • Non-essential businesses: All employees return to work with IDPH approved safety guidance; Employers are encouraged to provide accommodations for COVID-19-vulnerable employees
    • Bars and restaurants: Open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance
    • Personal care services and health clubs: All barbershops, salons, spas and health and fitness clubs open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance
    • Entertainment: Cinema and theaters open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance
    • Retail: Open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance

Photo by Sawyer Bengtson on Unsplash

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