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Illinois And Chicago Reopen June 11. Here’s What’s Changing After 15 Months Of Coronavirus

It'll be the first time since March 2020 that life will return to a relatively normal state without capacity restrictions and everyone being required to wear masks.

People gather near Fullerton Beach to hear Brian Doroba and his blues crew perform along the Lakefront Path during the warm weather on May 21, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — All of Illinois, including Chicago, is set to reopen June 11 after 15 months of life during the coronavirus pandemic.

It’ll be the first time since March 2020 that life will return to a relatively normal state without capacity restrictions at businesses and everyone being required to wear masks and stay socially distant.

The change has come as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, deaths and other metrics have plunged. Officials have said the wide availability of vaccines has led to the drop and made reopening possible.

And though the state is reopening, officials said more people need to get vaccinated. The state has recommended everyone who is eligible get the shots.

Everyone 12 and older is eligible to get vaccinated in Chicago. The vaccines are free, do not require insurance and are also available to undocumented people.

Anyone can call the city’s coronavirus hotline at 312-746-4835 to get more information on how and where to get vaccinated in their community.

Here’s what will change June 11:


  • Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask except in places where the federal government requires it — like nursing homes, public transportation and health care facilities — or where a business or workplace requires it.
  • Masks are required inside schools, but the state will not require them when people are outdoors at school.
  • People who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear a mask in crowded settings indoors and outdoors, the state recommends. The state’s health department particularly recommends unvaccinated people wear masks when around youth, who are not yet eligible for the vaccines.
  • People who are immunocompromised should consider wearing masks when in settings where other people might not be fully vaccinated, according to the state.
  • At businesses:
    • The state won’t require social distancing or mask-wearing outdoors or indoors at businesses where everyone is fully vaccinated.
    • For indoor businesses where not everyone is fully vaccinated, unvaccinated people should continue to wear a face covering and stay 6 feet apart, according to the state. If at outdoor businesses, unvaccinated people can choose not to wear a face covering when they’re able to keep 6 feet from other people.
    • Businesses and workplaces can still require masks on their premises if they choose. Businesses should support customers and employees who choose to keep wearing a mask, according to the state.

What’s Open

  • All businesses can reopen.
  • Large events, like festivals and conventions, can return without capacity restrictions.
  • Large gatherings can resume, including weddings, church services and parties with large crowds.
  • Businesses can continue to implement their own mitigation strategies — including requiring social distancing and masks — if they choose. The state recommends businesses “allow for social distancing to the extent possible, especially indoors.”

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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