Illinois businesses await state’s expected loosening of COVID restrictions


ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD) — The longtime manager of St. Clair Bowl in O’Fallon, IL was pleased to hear the latest news from the CDC revising its guidelines for mask-wearing for fully vaccinated individuals.

“I know the vaccinations out there have made a lot more people comfortable and things have improved,” said Trudy Stewart. She said customers can currently remove face coverings when on the bowling alley lanes or while sitting with their own group. Stewart is waiting for the state to announce what changes are coming.

The Illinois Department of Public Health confirms mask restrictions will be modified. An agency spokesperson released the following statement, “The Governor believes firmly in following the science and will be delighted to revise his executive orders in line with the CDC guidance lifting additional mitigations for vaccinated people. The scientists’ message is clear: if you are vaccinated, you can safely do much more.”

The state is also expected to move into the Bridge Phase of the Restore Illinois reopening plan Friday. Restrictions, including capacity limits for businesses, are expected to be revised.

St. Clair County resident Maureen Natalae believes the combination of growing vaccine numbers and a better-educated public is paying off.

“People are conscious of keeping their hands off their face and all those things that would spread the disease,” she said.

The assistant manager at The Edge in Belleville said customers are ready to ditch their masks.

“We have everything from dining to arcade to laser tag and movie theatres,” said Angie Culver. She hopes the latest news from the CDC will help encourage more customers to visit.

“I’m excited about moving forward and getting on with the rest of our lives,” said Culver.

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