The State of Illinois is in Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois Plan
Illinois is now in Phase 5 of its reopening plan. Under the plan, all sectors of the economy reopen with appropriate safety guidelines and procedures:
- Unvaccinated persons should wear a face covering and maintain six feet social distance in indoor businesses/venues or in a crowded outdoor area. When outdoors, unvaccinated persons may choose not to wear a face covering when able to maintain a six-foot social distance.
- Businesses are permitted to continue requiring face coverings and social distancing as they deem appropriate. Please be respectful and follow the requirements of individual businesses. Businesses and patrons should be supportive of customers or employees who choose to wear a face covering.
- Businesses should continue to support social distancing, especially at indoor spaces such as concessions, counters, public restrooms and lines/queues.
- All individuals, including those are fully vaccinated, must continue to wear a mask on public transportation, at congregate facilities, in health care settings, and where required by municipal and business requirements.
Cook County Eases Phase 4 Restrictions To Expand Indoor Dining, Outdoor Event Capacity
On April 29, 2021, the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) announced they are issuing revised COVID-19 Phase 4 reopening guidance that will go into effect on Friday, April 30. Mitigations are being eased due to 14 days of stable and declining health metrics including decreasing hospitalizations, COVID case counts, and positivity rates.
The eased mitigations include:
- Increased indoor restaurant capacity to 50 percent capacity or 100 individuals, whichever is smaller.
- Outdoor social events, such as weddings, proms and potlucks increase to lesser of 50% capacity or 100 people.
- Fully vaccinated people will be exempt from the capacity count for private social events, such as weddings.
- Higher capacity for indoor and outdoor seated spectator events, theater and performing arts in large venues (ticketed and seated) with a capacity of 200 or more to 25 percent. Indoor events with capacity less than 200 stay at 50 percent capacity with no more than 50 people.
- Festivals and general admission outdoor spectator events increase to 15 people per 1,000 square feet.
To date, nearly one million residents, or more than 50 percent of eligible residents 16 years and older in suburban Cook County have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Re-opening metrics will continue to be monitored and mitigation strategies will be revised further as indicated.
For more information, please visit CCDPH’s website.
Deadline Extended for Paycheck Protection Program
On March 30, 2021, President Biden signed the PPP Extension Act of 2021 into law, extending the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) an additional two months to May 31, 2021 This extension provides an additional 30-day period for businesses to submit applications for the forgivable loan program. The PPP is a loan designed to provide direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll. Additionally, borrowers may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness. More information is available on the SBA's website.
A Bridge to Phase 5
On March 18, 2021, Governor Pritzker announced that Illinois will move forward with a dial-like approach between the mitigations in Phase 4 to the post-pandemic new normal of Phase 5. The Bridge to Phase 5 will allow for higher capacity limits and increased business operations. All regions of the State will move through these next phases together based on statewide metrics.
In an update to current Phase 4 mitigations, individuals with proof of full vaccination — defined as 14 days after receiving a final vaccine dose — or a negative COVID-19 test (PCR) 1-3 days prior to an event do not count against capacity limits. Following the latest studies on virus transmission, lower risk activities that were either not permitted or allowed at a lower capacity have been expanded in Phase 4.
The Bridge Phase will go into effect when the following health criteria are met:
- 70% of residents 65 and older have received their first dose of vaccine
- No reversals in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths for a 28-day monitoring period
Phase 5 will go into effect when the following health criteria are met:
- 50% of residents 16 and older have received their first dose of vaccine
- Stable or declining COVID-19 metrics recorded for 28-day monitoring period
Capacity Limit Increases in the Bridge Phase:
- 60% capacity for health and fitness centers, offices, personal care businesses, retail and service counters, theaters, and meetings and conferences
- Standing areas outdoors to 50% capacity
- Farmers Market capacity to 30 people per 1,000 sq ft outdoors
- Indoor recreation to groups of 100
- Social events to 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors
Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan
Effective February 2, 2021, the Illinois Department of Public Health moved suburban Cook County (Region 10) to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan. The Cook County Department of Public health released guidelines on March 2, 2021 superseding the State guidelines which are below and in Mitigation Order 2021-5.
- Indoor service is limited to the lesser of 50 patrons or 50% of capacity per room.
- Food must be available at all times in order to offer indoor service. Bars, taverns or breweries without a food license can reopen indoors as long as they partner with a food establishment (e.g., making menus available and allowing delivery, allowing patrons to order from third-party delivery services). Indoor and outdoor table size limited to no more than six people.
- Table placement must allow for parties to be seated 6 feet apart from one another. Bar seating allowed with 6 feet between parties.
- All staff must be masked at all times. Patrons are required to be masked unless actively eating. Those seated at the bar must be masked and not allowed to sit unmasked unless eating or actively drinking. If a patron is unmasked a member of the restaurant staff must ask the customer to mask and if not complied with after requested to leave. Failure to require patrons to be masked will be seen as a violation of the establishment to operate safely.
- No congregating of patrons allowed prior to being seated. Customers waiting for a table must wait socially spaced outdoors.
- Outdoor dining, carry-out and delivery services remain open.
- Indoor space limited to the lesser of 40% capacity or 50 individuals, while practicing social distancing.
- If a service requires the removal of face coverings (e.g., facials, beard trimmings) employees must wear both a mask and eye protection (e.g. face shield, protective glasses).
- Fitness centers limited to a maximum of 40% capacity.
- Indoor events allowed at the lesser of 25% capacity, or a maximum of 25 individuals. Events must follow indoor dining guidelines.
View all guidelines on the Cook County Department of Public Health's website.
Safety guidelines from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity state that all patrons of food establishments must wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when approached and serviced by establishment employees, including but not limited to when employees take patron orders, deliver food and beverages, and service tables, whether dining indoor or outdoor. Patrons are also encouraged to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when picking up carry out orders. For more information, please visit the DCEO website.