Pritzker at home

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has released plans to safely reopen more businesses and industries with Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan. 

Gov. Pritzker says the guidelines were made to keep workers and customers safe as the economy recovers. All four regions of the state are currently on track to move into Phase 4 on Friday, June 26, as the state continues to make significant progress in reducing new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. 

Gov. Pritzker also says the average 7-day statewide case positivity rate is falling to just 2.5% as of June 20. 

The Governors office says Phase 4 allows for the safe reopening or expansion of several key business segments, like health and fitness, movies and theaters, museums and zoos, as well as indoor dining in restaurants. 

Phase 4 also allows for larger gathering sizes, up to 50 people. This expansion limit goes for meetings, events, and funerals. 

You can find the full guidance and other resources on Phase 4 by clicking here.

“Over the last four months, Illinoisans have pulled together with the common mission of keeping each other safe. By staying home and practicing social distancing, the rate of new COVID-19 cases continues to drop and each region throughout the state is prepared to move to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Science and data are the overarching guardrails for how Illinois will keep moving forward. By continuing to wear face coverings and following the guidance from health experts we can continue to safely reopen our economy and move forward together. 

The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity collaborated closely with local governments, businesses, and other stakeholders in the development of guidelines for Phase 4. 

In all, more than 150 businesses and regional partners were consulted on the guidelines developed with IDPH to ensure alignment with the State’s Restore Framework and the latest public health data.

The Governor's office says the state released a common set of standards that is expected of all employers, while also outlining industry-specific guidelines on a risk-based approach to support unique operational needs of businesses across the state. 

business open sign

Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan creates safety guidelines for the following permitted activities and businesses to resume, with capacity rules in place:

  • Meetings and events: Venues and meeting spaces can resume with the lesser of up to 50 people OR 50% of overall room capacity. Multiple groups are permitted given facilities have space to appropriately social distance and can limit interaction between groups. This includes activities such as conferences and weddings.
  • Indoor and Outdoor recreation: Revised guidelines to allow select indoor recreation facilities (e.g., bowling alleys, skating rinks), as well as clubhouses to reopen. Indoor recreation to operate at lesser of 50 customers OR 50% of facility capacity with outdoor recreation allowing group sizes of up to 50, and permitting multiple groups given facilities have space to appropriately social distance and can limit interaction between groups; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Indoor Dining: Indoor dining can reopen with groups of 10 or less, with tables spaced 6-feet apart in seated areas and with standing areas at no more than 25% of capacity.
  • Museums: Can reopen with no more than 25% occupancy, and with interactive exhibits and rides closed; guided tours should be limited to 50 people or fewer per group; museums should have a plan to limit congregation via advance ticket sales and timed ticketing; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Zoos: Can reopen with no more than 25% occupancy, and with interactive exhibits, indoor exhibits, and rides closed; guided tours should be limited to 50 people or fewer per group; zoos should have a plan to limit congregation via advance ticket sales and timed ticketing; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Cinema and Theatre: Indoor seated theaters, cinemas, and performing arts centers to allow admission of the lesser of up to 50 guests OR 50% of overall theater or performance space capacity (applies to each screening room); outdoor capacity limited to 20% of overall theater or performance space capacity; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Outdoor seated spectator events: Outdoor spectator sports can resume with no more than 20% of seating capacity; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Film production: Allow no more than 50% of sound stage or filming location capacity; crowd scenes should be limited to 50 people or fewer.

Industries with revised guidelines in Phase 4:

  • Youth and Recreational Sports: Revised guidelines allow competitive gameplay and tournaments; youth and recreational sports venues can operate at 50% of facility capacity, 20% seating capacity for spectators, and group sizes up to 50 with multiple groups permitted during practice and competitive games given venues have space to appropriately social distance and can limit interaction between groups; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Health and fitness centers: Revised guidelines allow gyms to open at 50% capacity and allow group fitness classes of up to 50 people with new safety guidelines for indoors, with multiple groups permitted given facilities have space to appropriately social distance and can limit interaction between groups.
  • Day camps: Water-based activities permitted in accordance with IDPH guidelines; no more than 50% of facility capacity with group size of no more than 15 participants in a group, unless participants changing weekly.

Additionally, the state says retail, service counters, offices, personal care (including salons, barber shops, and nail salons), manufacturing and other industries allowed to reopen in Phase 3 will continue to operate at a reduced capacity. 

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has released a new set of downloadable materials to help prepare businesses to reopen and remain in compliance with new guidelines. 

These business toolkits are complete with signage, training checklists, and other resources to help business owners and workers implement safety procedures and stick to the latest capacity restrictions. 

During Phase 4, Gov. Pritzker says common public health standards remain in effect, including wearing face masks and social distancing. Additionally, industry-specific guidelines may vary but are designed to help employers, workers, and residents feel safe in transitioning to the next phase of reopening the state. 

The state says all industries should continue to clean regularly, have employee health screenings at the beginning and middle of shifts, and allow employees who can continue working from home to do so. 

Phase 4 of Restore Illinois is expected to bring back around 400,000 people back to the workplace across all industries. 

Phase 4 also accounts for around $30 billion in annual GDP returned to operations and represents continuous progress towards fully reopening the economy. 

To help businesses that have been impacted or closed as a result of COVID-19, earlier this week Gov. Pritzker announced an additional $85 million will be made available through two new grant programs designed to help alleviate the burden for businesses hit hardest by the pandemic.

The new Business Interruption Grants Program will make $60 million available for up to 3,500 businesses experiencing losses and or unable to fully reopen until Phase 4 or 5. 

The BIG program is put back specifically for restaurants which haven't been allowed outdoor dining, health and fitness centers, barber shops and salons, and other businesses located in disproportionately impacted areas of the state. 

The second program, the Distressed Capital Program, brings forward $25 million in Rebuild Illinois capital funds to help those businesses sustaining damages as a result of civil unrest to restore and repair. 

Both programs give priority to minority-based businesses, or businesses located in disproportionately impacted areas.

Gov. Pritzker says together, these programs mark over $150 million in assistance made ready since the onset of COVID-19 to help businesses with urgent needs. 

More information on these programs and other available grant opportunities can be found on DCEO's website.