coronavirus illinois

Chicago, Suburban Cook County Can Resume Indoor Dining. Here's What That Means

Regions 10 and 11 moved to Tier 1 coronavirus mitigations Saturday

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Chicago and suburban Cook County can resume indoor dining after health officials said the regions can move to Tier 1 coronavirus mitigations Saturday.

As part of the move down to Tier 1, bars and restaurants can allow indoor service at 25% capacity or 25 people per room with no tables exceeding four people, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

For bars and breweries to open for indoor service, IDPH requires that food be available at all times, meaning the establishment must have a retail food license to operate.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot reacted to the news Saturday saying the city has made "sufficient progress in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic."

“We have long pushed for the careful resumption of limited indoor dining, and I am thrilled that we have made enough progress in the fight against COVID-19 to reopen our businesses and bring workers back,” Lightfoot said.

“As we enter this next phase, I again call on all businesses and residents to make sure we continue moving forward by following the guidelines for safe indoor dining and committing to the safety precautions that helped us flatten the curve a second time," the mayor added.

IDPH announced Saturday that Regions 10 and 11, which include Chicago and suburban Cook County, can move down from Tier 2 mitigations based on recent metrics.

Here's a look at the guidelines for Tier 1:

Bars and restaurants

  • Indoor service limited to lesser of 25% or 25 persons per room
  • No tables exceeding four people indoors
  • Suspend indoor service if not serving food
  • Outdoor, delivery and takeout service continues under updated hours

Cultural institutions

  • Open under Phase 4 rules

Gaming and casinos

  • Open under Phase 4 rules from Illinois Gaming Board


  • Open under Phase 4 rules

Household gatherings

  • Allowed with public health guidelines

Indoor fitness classes

  • Open under Phase 4 rules

Meetings, events and gatherings (excluding in-person school or sports)

  • Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25% overall capacity indoors and outdoors


  • Open under Phase 4 rules

Organized group recreational activities (fitness centers, sports, etc.)

  • Recreation, fitness centers and outdoor activities follow Phase 4 guidance
  • Sports follow measures in the All Sport Guidelines

On Friday, Region 4 moved to Tier 2 mitigations, which meant all 11 of Illinois' regions are out of Tier 3, the most restrictive of the mitigation levels that was implemented statewide in late November amid a second wave of the pandemic.

State health officials announced Thursday that two Chicago-area counties - Will and Kankakee in Region 7 - had moved to Tier 1.

“With all regions of Illinois now out of Tier 3, we can now see that the entire state is headed down the right path,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said Friday. “During the summer, we were on this same path.  We know that we must continue to take precautions and be smart about how we relax some of the mitigation measures, which are in place to protect our health and safety.”

The health department plans to "closely monitor test positivity, ICU bed availability, and the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19" and if numbers begin trending in the wrong direction, regions could see increased mitigations return.

For a full breakdown of what's allowed in each tier click here.

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