Pritzker releases safety guidelines for next phase of Restore Illinois plan

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker smiles as he explains legislation he’s backing to make it easier for taxpayers to locate information about lobbyists, their clients, and campaign contributions, in his Statehouse office, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. The bill will also create an ethics commission to recommend other ethics measures after a federal bribery complaint against former Rep. Luis Arroyo, D-Chicago. (AP Photo/John O’Connor)

CHICAGO, Ill. (WMBD) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued guidance Monday for safely reopening businesses and industries as the state enters Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan.

The plan states Illinois will enter phase four on June 26 and plans to loosen some restrictions and reopen more industries, such as health and fitness centers, movies and theaters, museums and zoos, and indoor dining at restaurants just to name a few. Another feature of Phase 4 expands gathering sizes from groups of 10 to groups of 50 or fewer. This applies to activities like meetings, events, and funerals.

Pritzker said the efforts of Illinoisans to follow the guidelines of previous phases are commendable.

“Over the last four months, Illinoisans have pulled together with the common mission of keeping each other safe,” Pritzker said. “By staying home and practicing social distancing, the rate of new COVID-19 cases continues to drop and each region throughout the state is prepared to move to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan. Science and data are the overarching guardrails for how Illinois will keep moving forward. By continuing to wear face coverings and following the guidance from health experts we can continue to safely reopen our economy and move forward together.”

Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike acknowledged the work of the Pritzker administration and residents in reducing the spread of the virus.

“The state of Illinois has made great progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19, largely because of the measures our administration enacted to protect residents and communities during this public health crisis,” said Ezike. “Our strategy to encourage social distancing and expand testing and contact tracing will enable Illinois communities to continue to take steps to reopen, to return to work and to resume daily activities.”

Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan creates safety guidelines for the following permitted activities and businesses to resume, with capacity rules in place:

  • Meetings and events: Venues and meeting spaces can resume with the lesser of up to 50 people OR 50% of overall room capacity. Multiple groups are permitted given facilities have space to appropriately social distance and can limit interaction between groups. This includes activities such as conferences and weddings.
  • Indoor and Outdoor recreation: Revised guidelines to allow select indoor recreation facilities (e.g., bowling alleys, skating rinks), as well as clubhouses to reopen. Indoor recreation to operate at lesser of 50 customers OR 50% of facility capacity with outdoor recreation allowing group sizes of up to 50, and permitting multiple groups given facilities have space to appropriately social distance and can limit interaction between groups; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Indoor Dining: Indoor dining can reopen with groups of 10 or less, with tables spaced 6-feet apart in seated areas and with standing areas at no more than 25% of capacity.
  • Museums: Can reopen with no more than 25% occupancy, and with interactive exhibits and rides closed; guided tours should be limited to 50 people or fewer per group; museums should have a plan to limit congregation via advance ticket sales and timed ticketing; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Zoos: Can reopen with no more than 25% occupancy, and with interactive exhibits, indoor exhibits, and rides closed; guided tours should be limited to 50 people or fewer per group; zoos should have a plan to limit congregation via advance ticket sales and timed ticketing; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Cinema and Theatre: Indoor seated theaters, cinemas, and performing arts centers to allow admission of the lesser of up to 50 guests OR 50% of overall theater or performance space capacity (applies to each screening room); outdoor capacity limited to 20% of overall theater or performance space capacity; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Outdoor seated spectator events: Outdoor spectator sports can resume with no more than 20% of seating capacity; concessions permitted with restrictions.
    Film production: Allow no more than 50% of sound stage or filming location capacity; crowd scenes should be limited to 50 people or fewer.

Industries with revised guidelines in Phase 4:

  • Youth and Recreational Sports: Revised guidelines allow competitive gameplay and tournaments; youth and recreational sports venues can operate at 50% of facility capacity, 20% seating capacity for spectators, and group sizes up to 50 with multiple groups permitted during practice and competitive games given venues have space to appropriately social distance and can limit interaction between groups; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Health and fitness centers: Revised guidelines allow gyms to open at 50% capacity and allow group fitness classes of up to 50 people with new safety guidelines for indoors, with multiple groups permitted given facilities have space to appropriately social distance and can limit interaction between groups.
  • Day camps: Water-based activities permitted in accordance with IDPH guidelines; no more than 50% of facility capacity with group size of no more than 15 participants in a group, unless participants changing weekly.

A full list of changes and guidelines for Phase 4 can be found here.

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