CHICAGO — Festivals, concerts and conventions are canceled until coronavirus is defeated, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Tuesday.
Major events that attract big crowds won’t be allowed until a vaccine or treatment for coronavirus is developed or new cases stop popping up, the governor said. Events will be allowed in the last phase of the state’s newly unveiled five-phase plan to reopen.
“It brings me no joy to say this, but based on what the experts tell us and everything we know about this virus and how easily it spreads in a crowd, large conventions, festivals and other major events” are canceled until Illinois can reopen in phase 5, Pritzker said.
Experts have said a treatment or vaccine for coronavirus is likely months away.
At least until the end of May, everyone in Illinois must still practice social distancing and no gatherings are allowed.
But, slowly, small events will be allowed after that: The state’s reopening plan allows for gatherings of 10 or fewer people during Phase 3, and gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed under Phase 4.
There’s no set timeline for when each region of the state will enter a new phase. The state has been divided into four regions, and each region will progress — or regress — depending on how coronavirus is spreading and how that region’s health care system is handling cases.
When asked if Lollapalooza, the city’s biggest music festival, would be canceled in August, Pritzker didn’t commit.
“I’m saying that if you follow the data and you look at how fast things could happen — like I said, if there is an effective treatment that comes out and people can see really you won’t get that sick if you get COVID-19, then I think all bets are up,” Pritzker said. “Things could open up … .
“I think people will make their own projections going forward about the likelihood of it.”
Lollapalooza is currently scheduled for July 30-Aug. 2, though the festival tweeted last week it was still working “to determine our plans.”
Pritzker said he’s “hopeful” a treatment like Remdesivir could be proven to be effective and could become widespread, which would hasten efforts to reopen Illinois and would thereby mean large events could be held.
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