Though Gov. J.B. Pritzker plans to lift Illinois' indoor mask mandate by the end of the month, some places will still require face coverings until further notice.
According to a press release from Pritzker’s office, the mask mandate will be repealed for most indoor spaces by Feb. 28, assuming that COVID metrics continue their rapid downward trajectory.
Where will the exceptions to the rule be? Here’s what we know so far:
There is pending litigation over mask requirements in Illinois schools, but the Pritzker administration says it intends to keep those rules in place if they are upheld by courts.
“As the CDC reaffirmed just today, masks remain a critical tool to help keep schools safe and open,” Pritzker said.
Health Care Settings
Hospitals, doctors’ offices and other facilities are being asked to continue their masking requirement, in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Long-Term Care Facilities
Federal rules require masks to be worn by staff in long-term care facilities, and the state says the mask mandate will remain in place in those areas as long as the federal government requires it.
This group includes prisons, homeless shelters, and other areas where groups of individuals congregate in close quarters.
This subset includes federal requirements that airline passengers wear masks. Passengers and drivers on buses and trains are also required to wear masks, per guidance from the Department of Transportation.
Masking guidelines will remain in place from the Department of Children and Family Services, according to Pritzker’s office.
Select Municipalities and Businesses
Pritzker’s administration says that any municipality or business that wants to keep stronger COVID mitigations in place, including mandatory masking, will be allowed to do so.
Chicago has also said that it will align with the state in lifting its masking requirement if its numbers also continue in their current downward trajectory.
"CDPH is watching four primary community transmission and risk metrics, and when 3 of the 4 reach 'Lower Transmission Risk' and stay there for one full incubation period (two weeks), we would begin to lift restrictions," the city's health department said in a statement.
For what to know as Illinois prepares to lift its mask mandate, click here.