Restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen outdoor areas for patrons on May 29 as long it is in a region that meets the requirements to move from phase two to three in the state's pandemic reopening plan. Indoor dining will still not be allowed.
In the governor's original plan, restaurants would only be allowed to offer curbside pickup and delivery until phase four, which would begin June 26 at the earliest.
It will be safe to dine outside "with the right restrictions, away from sidewalks, masks and distancing," Pritzker said.
The announcement comes after weeks of pressure from restaurant owners to allow them to reopen earlier.
State parks will be allowed to reopen as well, the governor announced. Gyms, tennis courts and golf courses will also see loosened restrictions at the end of May.
But the governor reminded Illinoisans to take coronavirus seriously.
"The virus has not gone away," Pritkzer said. "We must persevere."
Here is a full list of updates to third phase rules in the Restore Illinois plan:
Statement from the governor's office:
Governor Pritzker Announces Updates to Phase 3 of Restore Illinois Plan in Consultation with Health Experts
Bars and Restaurants Can Open for Outdoor Seating, All State Parks to Open
Chicago – Building on a robust, statewide effort to ensure Illinois can safely reopen and following the data, science, and guidance from public health experts and stakeholders across the state, Governor Pritzker announced updates to Phase 3 of the state’s Restore Illinois plan.
“We are by no means out of the woods, but directionally, things are getting better. And because of these advances, we are able to make some modifications to allow more activity during Phase 3 of our reopening plan Restore Illinois,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Our mission has always been to get people back to work, get students back to school and return to as much normalcy as possible without jeopardizing the health and safety of Illinoisans.”
In the coming days, the state and IDPH will be issuing formal industry-specific guidance, particularly around workplaces and childcare, for business owners and employees in these and other sectors.
Bars and Restaurants
With Phase 3, bars and restaurants will have the option to resume operations for outdoor seating only. Tables must be six feet apart and away from the sidewalks, masks and distancing measures for staff must continue to be followed, and other precautions and guidance will be issued.
These measures will allow restaurants to re-open at a risk comparable to other outdoor activities, while giving the state’s hospitality industry a much-needed boost.
Municipalities are encouraged to help restaurants and bars expand their outdoor seating options.
To date, the administration has delivered over $14 million in small business grants averaging $20,000 to 699 bars, restaurants, and hotels across 270 individual cities in Illinois.
With the start of phase 3, all state parks will reopen on May 29. All concession will reopen as well under guidelines set for our retail and food service businesses in Phase 3. Illinois will permit the re-opening of indoor and outdoor tennis facilities with Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) safety precautions and capacity limits.
For golf, in Phase 3, courses can allow foursomes out on the same tee times. Carts will also be permitted with one person per cart, or one immediate household per cart.
With the new ten person gathering limit for all activities in Phase 3, boating or camping with up to ten people will be permitted.
The state will be providing guidance on how other outdoor recreational businesses, such as driving ranges, outdoor shooting ranges, and paintball courses can safely open their doors in Phase 3.
Health Clubs, Retail, and Personal Care Services
In Phase 3, health clubs, gyms, and fitness studios can provide one-on-one personal training in indoor facilities and outdoor fitness classes of up to ten people.
Personal care services, like nail salons, tattoo shops, hair braiders, spas and barbershops, can open with IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits.
And all retail stores can open their doors to in-person shopping with IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits in place.
Local governments retain the right to establish stricter restrictions in any areas.
“The Governor’s action to allow for expanded outdoor dining options will benefit many restaurants at a time when every dollar counts and provides a glimmer of light at the end of this long, COVID-19 tunnel. Innovative outdoor dining strategies extend a lifeline – restoring jobs and offering guests the hospitality experience they’ve been missing while prioritizing public health and safety. Outdoor dining will not help every restaurant, but it is a constructive step in the right direction,“ said Sam Toia, President & CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association.
"The Allied Golf Associations of Illinois are grateful that we had the opportunity to collaborate with the Governor's office to propose safely lifting some of the restrictions that had been in place for golf. The Phase 3 changes will allow more people to enjoy the physical and mental benefits of the game, and do so in a way that is safe for both golfers and facility staff," said Carrie Williams, Executive Director of the Illinois PGA and Illinois PGA Foundation.
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