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Here Are The New Rules For Chicago’s Closed Restaurants, Bars (Yes, Carryout Is Fine)

Restaurants and bars are shut down until at least March 30.

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LOGAN SQUARE — Bars and restaurants across Illinois are shut down.

But you can still get food from some of your favorite restaurants — in fact, eateries that are still open are encouraging fans to order for delivery, pickup and carryout to help keep their businesses alive.

Just make sure you don’t hang out or eat inside any place.

Hoping to clear up any confusion about the changes, the city sent out guidelines for the closures.

The rules are in effect until at least March 30, though officials might extend the closures as needed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Here’s what the city said:

  • No one can eat or drink inside a restaurant or bar.
  • No one can gather in any way inside or outside a restaurant or bar.
  • Drive-thru, delivery, carryout and curbside pickup are fine, but restaurant owners must make sure social distancing policies are followed.
  • Year-round sidewalk cafes must be closed.
  • Food trucks, bakeries and grocery stores can continue as long as people don’t eat on site.
  • Concession stands at O’Hare and Midway airpots are exempt from the rules, but there should be social distancing.

The rules apply to every eatery, including:

  • Concession stands at movie theaters, bowling alleys and other venues
  • Cafes, coffee bars, ice cream counters and all other concession areas in grocery stores
  • Standalone cafes and coffee shops

Gov. JB Pritzker ordered the restaurants closed after a busy St. Patrick’s Day weekend that saw revelers crowd into bars and restaurants — even though officials had warned that would be a huge risk for spreading coronavirus.

So far, Illinois has 105 confirmed coronavirus cases.

The city has created a website with information for restaurant owners and other small business owners.

Chicagoans are also banding together to find ways they can help their favorite small businesses and their staffs.


Coronavirus can be deadly, but the vast majority of cases have been mild. Those most at risk from the virus are people who are elderly or who have underlying health conditions.

Symptoms of coronavirus can appear two to 14 days after a person has been exposed to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control. People with no symptoms may have the virus and spread it to others.

The virus spreads between people through coughing and sneezing, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you or someone else has difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, become confused, cannot be roused or develop a bluish face or lips, get immediate medical attention, according to the CDC.

How To Protect Yourself

The CDC only recommends those are already sick wear facemasks because they help you avoid spreading the virus.

Here’s what you can actually do to prevent getting ill:

  • The CDC and other officials have said people should wash their hands often, including before, during and after eating; after using the bathroom; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    The CDC has a guide here for how to properly wash your hands. Remember: Wash with soap and water, scrubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • If you can’t wash your hands with soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth, with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces you touch frequently, like cellphones and light switches. Here are tips from the CDC.
  • Stay home when you’re sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you have to sneeze with a tissue, throw it out immediately after using it, according to the CDC.

What To Do If You Think You’re Sick

Even if you’re not showing symptoms, the Chicago Department of Public Health recommends people coming from high-risk countries (here’s a CDC list) self-quarantine for 14 days after returning home.

If you do have symptoms of coronavirus, contact your primary doctor or a health care facility before going in. Explain your symptoms and tell them if you’ve come into close contact with anyone with coronavirus or traveled to an area where corona is widespread (here’s a CDC list) within the last 14 days, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

From there, the experts will work with your local health department to determine what to do and if you need to be tested for coronavirus, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

And, of course, if you think you’re sick with coronavirus, don’t risk exposing other people to the virus. Anyone who feels unwell has been advised to stay home.

Those with questions and concerns about coronavirus can call the Illinois Department of Public Health at 800-889-3931.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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