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Outdoor Dining, Salons OK'd in State's Phase 3 Reopening

The governor’s office today issued updated guidelines that relax some of the COVID-19 restrictions placed on people and businesses throughout Illinois. Phase 3 could begin as early as May 29. The announcement emphasized that local governments may establish stricter protocol, but Lake Bluff President Kathy O'Hara said the village plans to follow the governor's guidelines.

In the near future the Illinois Department of Public Health will issue formal industry-specific guidance, particularly around workplaces and childcare, for business owners and employees in these and other sectors.

The highlights of today's announcement include:

  • Limited outdoor seating allowed for restaurants and bars

  • Gatherings of 10 or fewer people are allowed - this includes boating, camping, indoor/outdoor tennis

  • Golf foursomes are allowed on the same tee-times - carts permitted with 1 person per cart or 2 from the same household

  • All state parks and concessions may reopen

  • Gyms: one-on-one personal training indoors is allowed. Fitness classes of up to 10 people are allowed outdoors

  • All retail stores can reopen to in-person shopping with Illinois Department of Public Health safety precautions and capacity limits

  • Personal care services such as hair and nail salons and barbershops can open with IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits

  • Local governments have every right to establish stricter guidance

Get ready to dine al fresco in Lake Bluff soon. This photo shows patio seating in front of Lake Bluff Brewing Company in 2019

Here is the press release issued by the office of Gov. J.B. Prizker the afternoon of Wednesday, May 20:

Governor Pritzker Announces Updates to Phase 3 of Restore Illinois Plan

in Consultation with Health Experts

Bars and Restaurants Can Open for Outdoor Seating, All State Parks to Open

CHICAGO – Building on a robust, statewide effort to ensure Illinois can safely reopen and following the data, science, and guidance from public health experts and stakeholders across the state, Governor Pritzker announced updates to Phase 3 of the state’s Restore Illinois plan.

“We are by no means out of the woods, but directionally, things are getting better. And because of these advances, we are able to make some modifications to allow more activity during Phase 3 of our reopening plan Restore Illinois,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Our mission has always been to get people back to work, get students back to school and return to as much normalcy as possible without jeopardizing the health and safety of Illinoisans.”

In the coming days, the state and IDPH will be issuing formal industry-specific guidance, particularly around workplaces and childcare, for business owners and employees in these and other sectors.

Bars and Restaurants

With Phase 3, bars and restaurants will have the option to resume operations for outdoor seating only. Tables must be six feet apart and away from the sidewalks, masks and distancing measures for staff must continue to be followed, and other precautions and guidance will be issued.

These measures will allow restaurants to re-open at a risk comparable to other outdoor activities, while giving the state’s hospitality industry a much-needed boost.

Municipalities are encouraged to help restaurants and bars expand their outdoor seating options.

To date, the administration has delivered over $14 million in small business grants averaging $20,000 to 699 bars, restaurants, and hotels across 270 individual cities in Illinois.

Outdoor Activities

With the start of phase 3, all state parks will reopen on May 29. All concession will reopen as well under guidelines set for our retail and food service businesses in Phase 3. Illinois will permit the re-opening of indoor and outdoor tennis facilities with Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) safety precautions and capacity limits.

For golf, in Phase 3, courses can allow foursomes out on the same tee times. Carts will also be permitted with one person per cart, or one immediate household per cart.

With the new ten person gathering limit for all activities in Phase 3, boating or camping with up to ten people will be permitted.

The state will be providing guidance on how other outdoor recreational businesses, such as driving ranges, outdoor shooting ranges, and paintball courses can safely open their doors in Phase 3.

Health Clubs, Retail, and Personal Care Services

In Phase 3, health clubs, gyms, and fitness studios can provide one-on-one personal training in indoor facilities and outdoor fitness classes of up to ten people.

Personal care services, like nail salons, tattoo shops, hair braiders, spas and barbershops, can open with IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits.

And all retail stores can open their doors to in-person shopping with IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits in place.

Local governments retain the right to establish stricter restrictions in any areas.

“The Governor’s action to allow for expanded outdoor dining options will benefit many restaurants at a time when every dollar counts and provides a glimmer of light at the end of this long, COVID-19 tunnel. Innovative outdoor dining strategies extend a lifeline – restoring jobs and offering guests the hospitality experience they’ve been missing while prioritizing public health and safety. Outdoor dining will not help every restaurant, but it is a constructive step in the right direction,“ said Sam Toia, President & CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association.

"The Allied Golf Associations of Illinois are grateful that we had the opportunity to collaborate with the Governor's office to propose safely lifting some of the restrictions that had been in place for golf. The Phase 3 changes will allow more people to enjoy the physical and mental benefits of the game, and do so in a way that is safe for both golfers and facility staff," said Carrie Williams, Executive Director of the Illinois PGA and Illinois PGA Foundation.