After nearly 15 months, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has confirmed that the state will move into Phase 5 of its coronavirus reopening plan, eliminating all capacity limits for businesses and large-scale events as COVID metrics continue to drop in the state.
Pritzker, who announced last month that the state was on pace to move into the final phase of its reopening plan, made the official announcement Thursday, citing continuing declines in COVID metrics and increases in vaccinations.
“A strong economy requires that people not only feel safe, but truly be safe, as they go about their lives as workers, neighbors, consumers, and friends – and thanks to the lifesaving power of vaccinations, that day is finally here for Illinois,” Pritzker said in a statement.“I invite all Illinoisans to feel the hope and joy of this moment while also recognizing that this pandemic is still very present for the world at large – not to mention those here at home who have not been or cannot be vaccinated. As we take this next step forward, let’s do so with a renewed commitment to empathy, to community, and to making each day together count. You did it, Illinois.”
Under Phase 5 of the state’s reopening plan, all capacity limits on businesses, large-scale events, conventions and amusement parks will be lifted. Professional sports teams, including the Chicago Cubs and White Sox, will be permitted to have full crowds at their games, and a host of other festivals and concerts are now permitted to move forward.
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Those capacity restrictions will also be fully lifted for restaurants and other businesses, according to state officials.
Masks will not be required for vaccinated individuals, except where required by federal, state or local law, according to officials.
The news comes as the state continues to report record-low numbers of new cases, positivity rates, and other key metrics. As of Thursday, the state has a positivity rate of just 1.3% on tests, and 764 people are hospitalized due to COVID in Illinois, one of the lowest numbers reported during the pandemic.
More than 50% of the state’s adult residents are now fully vaccinated against COVID, with more than 68% having received at least one dose of the vaccine.
For a full list of reopening procedures, and a list of locations that will be reopening, residents can check the state's COVID website or the NBC 5 app.