CHICAGO — Illinois will move into Bridge Phase on Friday, meaning more coronavirus restrictions will be lifted at businesses.
The Bridge Phase is the final step before a full reopening under Phase 5. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has previously said Chicago will follow the state in moving into the Bridge Phase.
The move means Illinois could see a full reopening by June 11, so long as coronavirus metrics stabilize or continue to fall, according to a Governor’s Office news release.
During Phase 5, people will need to continue wearing masks, but capacity restrictions will be lifted at all businesses, according to the Governor’s Office.
Some of the rule changes under the Bridge Phase:
- Bars and restaurants: Can now operate within their regular liquor license hours and reopen standing areas at 25 percent capacity.
- Social events: Indoor events can have up to 250 people, and outdoor events can have up to 500 people.
- Spectator events: 60 percent capacity.
- Amusement parks: Can increase capacity to 60 percent, up from 25 percent during Phase 4.
- Festivals and general admission outdoor spectator events: 30 people per 1,000 square feet. It was 15 people per 1,000 square feet during Phase 4.
- Meetings, conferences and conventions: Lesser of 1,000 people or 60 percent capacity.
Also during the Bridge Phrase, fully vaccinated people will not county toward capacity limits at businesses as part of the city’s Vaccine Exemption, according to a Mayor’s Office news release. Restaurants and bars will be able to seat parties larger than 10 people if all of them are 16 or older and fully vaccinated.
Businesses that take advantage of that program will be expected to verify the patrons whom they exempt are fully vaccinated, according to the Mayor’s Office. More information on the Vaccine Exemption is available online.
Officials will continue to monitor new cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations and other metrics. The state will remain in the Bridge Phrase — or could even move back — should there be a significant rise in deaths or the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19.
People getting vaccinated is still the best bet for ending the pandemic, reopening businesses and having the world return to normal, officials have said. More people getting vaccinated also means there are fewer chances for variants of COVID-19 to develop and spread, which would endanger people and pose a threat to reopening efforts.
Everyone 12 and older is now eligible for vaccinations in Illinois.
Read the full rules under the Bridge Phrase here.
Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.
Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast” here: