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Here’s what will be different Friday, when most of the state (but not Chicago) moves into phase three of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan

Thursday, May 28, 2020
Chicago Tribune
by Dan Petrella & Jamie Munks

All four regions of the state are poised to move into the next phase of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan Friday, which means many restaurants will be back open for outdoor service and “nonessential” retailers will be open to shoppers.

Except in Chicago, where Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on Thursday the city won’t advance to the next phase of reopening until Wednesday, June 3, when retail, hotels and restaurants will be allowed to open under guidelines.

The opening of libraries and park buildings will happen on June 8.

The city (and all cities and counties) can enact tighter guidelines than the state, but not looser ones. For the most part, Chicago’s guidelines are similar to the state’s.

While the state’s opening up a bit, don’t throw away those masks yet, they’ll continue to be required in public.

After being in almost total shutdown for more than two months, here are the new coronavirus rules of the road in phase three of Pritzker’s “Restore Illinois” plan.

Restaurants and bars

· Outdoor dining and drinking will be allowed, but limited to parties of six or fewer, with tables spaced at least 6 feet apart from one another and from customer service areas. Rooftop establishments are included, but retractable roofs have to stay open.

· Businesses are advised to implement a reservation or call-ahead system, and customers are asked to wear a mask over their nose and mouth except for when they are eating and drinking at a table.

— In Chicago,

· The application process for restaurants to reopen is pending.


· “Nonessential” retailers — such as those that don’t sell necessities like food and medicine — will be able to open to customers for the first time since mid-March, as will shopping malls. Customers and employees have to wear face coverings.

· Statewide, retailers will have to limit the number of customers in a store at one time to half the usual capacity, or five customers per 1,000 square feet of retail space. That’s similar to the rules that have been in place for grocery stores and other “essential” retailers since May 1.

· Fitting rooms have to be disinfected after each use or must remain closed. Returned items must be disinfected or quarantined for 72 hours before going back on the rack.

— In Chicago,

· Nonessential retailers will be limited to 25% of normal capacity.

Personal care services

· Hair salons, barbershops, hair braiders, spas, tattoo parlors, nail salons, waxing centers and cosmetology schools are among the personal care services that can reopen, but they must limit services to those that can be performed with both the customer and the employee wearing a facial covering over their nose and mouth.

· Reservations only, no walk-ins.

· Massages and other body treatments must be 30 minutes or less.

— In Chicago,

· Salons and other businesses will be limited to 25% of normal capacity.

Child care

· Child care centers that have been open during the first two phases of Pritzker’s stay-at-home order to provide care for the children of essential workers will be allowed to expand service. Centers reopening in phase three will be limited to eight infants or 10 children per classroom for the first four weeks.

· Children and staff will have to change shoes upon arrival, and anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher must not be admitted.

· Staff must wear masks. Children older than 2 must wear masks when entering and exiting, in hallways and whenever possible in the classroom. Masks will be optional for staff and children during outdoor play.

· Licensed and license-exempt home day cares can reopen. License-exempt homes will be limited to three unrelated children, and licensed homes will be limited to either their licensed capacity or 10 children, whichever is smaller.

· Home day cares have to be able to provide sleep space for each child with 6 feet of separation.

Recreation and fitness

· Outdoor recreation businesses such as driving ranges, outdoor shooting ranges and adventure courses can reopen, with individual stations spaced 10 feet apart. Group sizes will be limited to 10 or fewer people, following social distancing guidelines. Clubhouses and communal gathering spots must remain closed.

· Health clubs and gyms can reopen for one-on-one personal training and outdoor classes with 10 or fewer participants. Workout equipment must be spaced 10 feet apart or 6 feet apart with barriers. Locker rooms must be configured to allow for 6 feet of distance between members.

· While some state parks reopened as the state moved into phase two on May 1, all state parks and concessions will reopen in phase three, with concessions operating under the same guidelines as other restaurants and retailers.

· Golf courses will be able to allow foursomes, and use of carts can resume, with one person per cart, unless they are members of the same household.

· Camping and boating will be allowed in groups of 10 or fewer, with social distancing and other precautions.

— In Chicago,

· The lakefront will remain closed for the time being, according to Lightfoot’s office, as will playgrounds. Noncontact sports will be permitted in parks.

Youth sports and day camps

· Youth sports may resume noncontact practices, drills and lessons that allow for 6 feet of distance between participants. Competitive games will be prohibited.

· There must be one adult per 10 participants, and there should be no mixing of participants between teams for the duration of a season.

· Handshakes are out, and participants are required to bring their own water. Spectators are prohibited unless required for parental supervision or social distancing guidelines can be followed.

· Indoor facilities may open at 50% capacity.

· Overnight camps are prohibited, but day camps will be allowed, with enough space for 6 feet of distance between participants for all activities.

· Camp activities that require physical exertion should take place outdoors, but all camps should have enough indoor space to accommodate all participants with 6 feet of distance and groups of 10 or fewer.

— In Chicago,

· Guidelines for summer programs and youth activities “will be available later in phase three when those entities are predicted to begin reopening,” according to the mayor’s office.


· While offices can reopen at 50% capacity, all employees who can continue working from home should be allowed to do so.

Employees should wear face coverings when within 6 feet of co-workers.

· Employers should space out occupied workstations by at least 6 feet or install impermeable barriers between workstations. The use of shared desks and workspaces is discouraged.

· Vending machines should be sanitized after each use.


· Factories, plants and mills can resume operations with either 6 feet of distance or impermeable barriers between employee workstations, and ramped-up cleaning and disinfecting between shifts.

Dan Petrella

A Lombard native, Dan Petrella has written for newspapers from Chicago to Carbondale. Before joining the Tribune in 2017, he was Springfield bureau chief for Lee Enterprises newspapers. He's also been an editor and reporter at The State Journal-Register in Springfield. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Jamie Munks covers Illinois government from Springfield. She’s worked at papers in Illinois, Upstate New York, Las Vegas and Memphis. She grew up in Chicago’s northwest suburbs and New England, and has dual bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science from Syracuse University. In her spare time, she hikes, travels and roots for the Cubs.

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