Illinois to ease COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, businesses, Gov. Pritzker says | Coronavirus

Illinois to ease COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, businesses, Gov. Pritzker says | Coronavirus

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Illinois establishing office building vaccination clinics

Gov. J.B. Pritzker discusses Chicago’s vaccination efforts during a news conference at the Harris Bank Building in the Loop, Monday, May 10, 2021, in Chicago. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)




COVID-19 restrictions will be eased across Illinois beginning Friday, including changes to rules on gatherings and business capacity limits, according to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office.

The state will move into the “bridge phase” — the final stage of restrictions before fully reopening. If Illinois avoids any spikes in COVID-19 hospitalizations or deaths, it will fully reopen June 11, according to the governor’s office.

The phase beginning Friday will raise allowed capacity at many public places, including offices, retail businesses, museums and theaters, to 60%, up from either 25% or 50% in most cases.

Restaurant capacity limits will go from 25% to 30% indoors and up to 50% outdoors. Caps for social events like weddings will be raised from 100 people to 250 for indoor events and 500 for outdoor gatherings.

The state will continue to follow mask guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC announced Thursday that fully vaccinated people can remove masks in group settings, but the agency still recommends wearing masks in public places like grocery stores, public transportation and hospitals.

Pritzker added the bridge phase to the state’s five-phase reopening plan on March 18 to ease restrictions without fully reopening the state.

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