CHICAGO – Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced official guidelines for the state to enter Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan this week.
The governor says all four regions of the state are on track to meet the requirements needed to enter Phase 4, which is being called “Revitalization.” In this phase, gatherings of 50 people or fewer will be allowed, and most facilities that reopen will be expected to allow no more than 50% capacity.
Illinois has seen an overall drop in daily COVID-19 cases and deaths. As of Monday morning, the average new cases reported per day dropped to about 40% the rate reported three weeks ago, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and analyzed by NPR.
Gov. Pritzker and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Nogzi Ezike say the state’s ramped-up testing and stay-at-home order have driven the decrease in cases and hospitalizations.
“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,” Pritzker said in a statement. He added that “science and data are the overarching guardrails for how Illinois will keep moving forward.”
Phase 4 is the second-to-final stage in Illinois’ plan to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Only in Phase 5 will all sectors of the economy be allowed to return to normal, and all large festivals and gatherings permitted. But under the current plan, Phase 5 won’t be reached until a vaccine, widespread treatment or herd immunity is achieved.
Illinois will begin Phase 4 on Friday, June 26; here’s what to expect.
- Restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen indoor dining for groups of 10 people or less.
- Tables must be spread six feet apart, and standing areas must remain at 25% capacity.
MEETINGS AND EVENTS
- Meetings and events—including conferences and weddings—can return with either 50 people or fewer, or only half of room capacity.
- Facilities and venues are expected to put social distancing and capacity limits in place.
INDOOR AND OUTDOOR RECREATION
- Various indoor recreation facilities, such as bowling alleys, skating rinks and clubhouses, can reopen.
- Facilities will have to maintain fewer than 50 people inside at once, or maintain 50% capacity.
- Outdoor recreation will have to maintain groups of 50 people or less.
- Concessions can reopen with public health guidelines and restrictions.
CINEMAS, THEATERS, FILM PRODUCTION
- Indoor theaters, cinemas and performing arts centers can reopen with 50% capacity or only allowing 50 guests inside at once.
- Outdoor theaters must maintain 20% capacity.
- Concessions can reopen with guidelines and restrictions.
- Film production can resume, but must maintain 50% capacity at filming locations. Crowd scenes must be restricted to 50 people or fewer.
MUSEUMS AND ZOOS
- Museums and zoos can reopen with 25% capacity, but must keep interactive exhibits or rides closed to reduce hands-on interaction.
- Tours must consist of groups of 50 people or fewer.
- Museums and zoos will be required to operate with social distancing guidelines in mind—such as for ticket lines and concessions.
GYMS, RECREATIONAL SPORTS, DAY CAMPS
- Games and tournaments can return in Phase 4, although venues must operate at only 50% capacity, with seating at 20% capacity.
- Gyms and fitness centers can open at 50% capacity, with classes of no more than 50 people permitted.
- Shared equipment must be disinfected after use between people.
- Water activities can resume during day camps in Phase 4, as long as appropriate social distancing guidelines and 50% capacity is maintained. Groups for water activities will have to stay at 15 people or fewer.