coronavirus illinois

Phase 3: The Changes Announced Wednesday to Illinois' Reopening Plan

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As Illinois moves closer to the end of May, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a series of revisions to the state’s phased reopening plan.

The biggest changes will involve bars and restaurants, which will be able to expand beyond drive-thru and carryout orders beginning in the new phase. Restrictions will still remain in place, but new services will be allowed, giving those businesses a leg-up in recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.

Other changes to outdoor recreation were also announced by Pritzker during a Wednesday press conference.

Here is the full rundown:

Bars and Restaurants:

Originally, all bars and restaurants were going to have to wait to provide dine-in service until Phase Four of the “Restore Illinois” plan, but Wednesday Pritzker announced that those businesses would be able to open up outdoor seating areas to dine-in service beginning in Phase Three of the plan.

Some municipalities have said they will explore options to expand outdoor seating outside of those businesses, including closing down some streets, and Pritzker encouraged that type of thinking, but warned that social distancing guidelines must still be enforced even in an outdoor setting.

Those restrictions will include tables being six feet apart from one another and from sidewalks, masks and distancing measures for staff and other precautions.

Boating and Camping:

Currently, campgrounds remain closed in the state and boats can only be occupied by two people, but that will change beginning with Phase Three.

According to Pritzker, campgrounds will be allowed to open, with proper social distancing procedures in place, beginning in the new phase. Groups of 10 or fewer people will also be allowed to travel together on boats, but must continue to wear masks when social distancing is not possible.

Golf Courses:

Several changes are also in the offing for golf courses, which are not currently allowed to open their driving ranges and are limited to just two golfers per group on the course.

Beginning in Phase Three, golfers will be allowed to play in groups of up to four. Carts will also be allowed, but will still only be allowed to transport one golfer, unless the two golfers have been living together during the stay-at-home order.

In addition, driving ranges will be allowed to reopen, and the Illinois Department of Public Health will provide guidance on how to safely reopen those practice facilities.

Other Outdoor Recreational Activities:

According to the governor, outdoor shooting ranges and paintball courses will also be allowed to reopen, with guidelines in place.

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