Illinois is set to move into Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois Plan on June 11, according to a press release from Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office. This includes a full reopening of all businesses and activities.
Businesses, large-scale events, conventions, amusement parks, and seated-spectator venues will be able to operate at full capacity. The state is also aligning with the CDC to lift the outdoor mask requirement in schools in most situations.
“After a tremendously challenging year, Illinois has now reached a defining moment in our efforts to defeat COVID-19,” said Pritker in the press release. “Thanks to the hard work of residents across the state, Illinois will soon resume life as we knew it before – returning to events, gatherings, and a fully reopened economy, with some of the safety guidelines we’ve adopted still in place.”
What Does Phase 5 Look Like?
Under Phase 5, fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask except where it’s required by federal, state, or local laws as well as local businesses and workplaces. It’s still recommended that unvaccinated people continue to wear a mask.
Those traveling on public transportation, congregate settings, healthcare, as well as in schools, daycares, and educational institutions will still need to wear a mask. Businesses and local municipalities can put in place additional mitigations if they feel it is necessary.
Phase 5 also means conventions, festivals, and other large events can happen without capacity restrictions. Businesses will no longer have to issue social distancing in seated venues or conduct daily health screenings of employees and visitors. However, businesses and venues should continue to allow for social distancing when possible, especially indoors, according to the press release.
“This pandemic has robbed us of many of our freedoms such as going to ball games and concerts, celebrating graduations, weddings, and birthdays, going to dinner with friends, and even sharing a hug with loved ones we don’t live with,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “The vaccine is giving us our freedoms back and allowing us to move to Phase 5. Let’s keep the vaccination momentum going so we can put this pandemic in the rearview mirror and not look back.”
This guidance comes as Illinois has recently reached a seven-day rolling average COVID-19 positivity case rate of less than 2%, with nearly 42% of the state’s population fully vaccinated. Key hospitalization metrics have been declining since early May.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.