Governor JB Pritzker today released guidelines to reopen businesses and certain activities when regions of the State move into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan. All four regions of the State are currently on track to move into Phase 4 on June 26.
Phase 4 allows for the safe reopening or expansion of several key business segments – such as health and fitness, movies and theater, museums and zoos, as well as indoor dining at restaurants. Phase 4 also allows for expanded gathering sizes, increasing the limit from 10 people in Phase 3, to 50 people or fewer. This expanded gathering limit extends to key activities like meetings, events, and funerals. For full guidance and other resources visit: Illinois.gov/businessguidelines.
Gov. Pritzker said in a prepared statement, “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.”
“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 Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi 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.
- Restaurants and Bars: Indoor dining and drinking can reopen with groups of up to 10 people. Tables should be arranged so that they allow for 6 ft. between parties; impermeable barriers may be installed between booths which are less than 6 ft. apart. Standing areas (in restaurants or bars) should be limited to no more than 25% of standing area capacity. Buffets and self-service food stations (e.g. hot and cold bars, bulk items, baked goods) should adhere to additional minimum guidelines. Self-service beverage fountains are permissible with the additional precautions
- Retail and Service Counters: Continue capacity limit of no more than 50% occupancy. Mall food courts may reopen in line with indoor dining and drinking guidelines
- 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.
Additionally, retail, service counters, offices, personal care (including salons, barber, nail salons), manufacturing and other industries allowed to reopen in Phase 3 will continue to operate at a reduced capacity.
During Phase 4, common public health standards remain in effect – including the use of face coverings and social distancing. Industry-specific guidelines may vary but are designed to help employers, workers and residents feel safe in transitioning to the next phase of reopening the state. All industries should continue to conduct regular cleanings, employee health screenings upon entry and mid-shift, and allow employees who can continue working from home to do so.
The State’s move to Phase 4 of the plan is expected to bring approximately 400,000 additional Illinoisans back to the workplace across all industries. While Phase 4 marks the return of 7 percent of the state’s workforce, it accounts for about $30 billion in annual GDP returned to operations and represents continuous progress towards fully reopening the state’s economy.
To help businesses that have been impacted or closed as a result of COVID-19, earlier this week Gov. Pritzker announced an additional $85 million will be made available through two new grant programs designed to help alleviate the burden for businesses hit hardest by COVID-19. The new Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG) will make $60 million available for up to 3,500 businesses experiencing losses and/or unable to fully reopen until Phase 4 or 5. This program is earmarked specifically for restaurants which haven’t been permitted to allow outdoor dining, health and fitness centers, barbershops and salons, and other businesses located in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs) of the state.
The second initiative, the Distressed Capital Program brings forward $25 million in Rebuild Illinois capital funds to help those businesses sustaining damages as a result of events related to civil unrest begin to restore and repair. Both programs will give priority to minority-owned businesses, or businesses located in DIAs. Together, these programs mark over $150 million in assistance made available since the onset of COVID-19 to help businesses with urgent needs. More information on these programs and other available grant opportunities can be found on DCEO’s website.