Illinois Restaurant Association Pleads With Governor Over Indoor Dining Ban

Many Illinois restaurants aren't expected to make it through the winter without government assistance

The Illinois Restaurant Association is pleading with the governor to take a different approach on coronavirus mitigation efforts.

At a press conference on Friday, members of the IRA, employees and restaurant owners highlighted the crisis the industry faces during this pandemic.

 “We need a stimulus bill, we need a second round of the PPP,” IRA President Sam Toia said. “We’re not going to drive the numbers down by closing the restaurants. I think we’re going to drive these numbers up by having these private gatherings.”

While Gov. J.B. Pritzker said private gatherings are a major contributor to the second wave of the coronavirus, he also said bars and restaurants are just as capable of spreading the virus.

“The idea that your bubble is protected in a more public place than in your home is just not accurate,” Pritzker said. “They’re really amplification points for people who are sick who go into bars and restaurants. It’s very easily spread in that environment.”

Toia said the IRA is expected to meet with the governor next week.

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