coronavirus illinois

Illinois Unveils Health and Safety Guidelines for Businesses Opening in Phase Three

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With state businesses in a wide variety of industries preparing to reopen their doors under Phase Three of the state’s “Restore Illinois” plan, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has unveiled a series of health and safety initiatives to help guide the reopening process.

In Phase Three, which could potentially begin at month’s end, many businesses, including hair salons, tattoo shops, manufacturing facilities, office spaces and small retail shops, will be allowed to reopen their doors for the first time since the pandemic began.

To help guide those businesses, the governor’s office has released a series of safety guidelines, designed to ensure social distancing and other safety protocols in those facilities.

“In every aspect of our pandemic response, and especially as we begin to safely reopen meaningful swaths of our economy, our number one priority must be the health and safety of our workers, our customers and Illinoisans at large,” Pritzker said in a statement. “The industry-specific baseline guidance for businesses the Department of commerce and Economic Opportunity released today will help employers re-open their doors in Phase Three in line with that priority.”

Pritzker said that the state reached out to hundreds of business owners and industry leaders to formulate the safety plans, taking into account differences in business size and what region of the state they were in, to make sure that all businesses were on an equal playing field in the safety department.

Most importantly, Pritzker wanted business owners to recognize that the key to successful reopening is to make sure that customers are, and feel, safe.

“You can’t build a strong economy if people aren’t comfortable being a part of it,” he said.

All businesses reopening in Phase Three will be required to have employees wear facial coverings over their mouths and noses, according to a press release. Social distancing of at least six feet will also be required, unless “participating in activities permitted under Phase Three guidelines.”

Employers are encouraged to provide facilities for hand-washing and hand sanitizer for employees and customers, and employees are required to frequently wash their hands while on duty.

For a full list of specified safety protocols for a variety of industries, including personal care services, manufacturing, and retail shops, we have the full list on the NBC Chicago app.

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