Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Will Masks be Required in Phase Five of Illinois' Reopening Plan?

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Even as Illinois potentially moves to completely reopen the state in coming months, Gov. J.B. Pritzker says that the state will continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on mask-wearing, saying that it is the best way to protect those not yet vaccinated against coronavirus.

On Thursday, Pritzker announced that the state plans to move into a new “Bridge Phase” of COVID reopening on May 14, and that it could potentially move to Phase Five on June 11, which would amount to a full reopening of the state.

Even still, Pritzker says that residents can still anticipate wearing masks while in public places, and that the state will continue to follow evolving CDC guidance on the subject.

“Whenever we reach Phase Five, we will continue to follow CDC guidelines on masking to keep this pandemic at bay.” Pritzker said.

Under current CDC guidelines, masks are required when traveling on a plane, bus, train or other form of public transportation. The CDC is also recommending the use of masks when in indoor public spaces, or in outdoor spaces when social distancing is not possible.

Pritzker says that he understands that the CDC is “evaluating masks all the time,” and that the state will continue to follow their guidance, even if capacity limits and other COVID mitigations are removed by a move into Phase Five this summer.

“We’re gonna watch and listen to them,” he said. “During this period, it’s very important that people wear masks when appropriate. It’s very exciting that we can begin to reopen to a Bridge Phase and ultimately to Phase Five…while still protecting those who are not vaccinated.”

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