As some Illinois regions begin to lift Tier 3 mitigations, and return to Tier 2 after months of heightened restrictions, the move still won't mean the return of indoor dining.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday that indoor dining can resume in part as regions begin to move into Tier 1 and even further as they return to Phase 4.
"The closure of indoor service still applies in regions that remain in Tiers 2
and 3 – in other words, those with a positivity rate at or above 8 percent,
along with failing to meet either of the hospital metrics – until they are able
to meet the Tier 1 standards," Pritzker said.
Those that do reach Tier 1, will be able to open indoor dining for 25 people or at 25 percent capacity per room, whichever is lower, with only four people allowed per table.
"And of course, any regions that have improved enough to move into Phase
4, can resume some greater indoor operations at bars and restaurants as
long as tables are kept six feet apart, just like last summer," Pritzker said.
Three Illinois regions are now able to lift Tier 3 mitigations under the state's guidelines and move to Tier 2.
Those regions include:
Region 1: Northern Illinois (Jo Davies, Stephenson, Winnebago, Boone, Dekalb, Carrol, Ogle, Whiteside, Lee, Crawford)
Region 2: North-Central Illinois (Rock Island, Henry, Bureau, Putnam, Kendall, Grundy, Mercer, Knox, Henderson, Warren, McDonough, Fulton, Stark, Marshall, Peoria, Tazwell, McLean, Woodford, Livingston, Lasalle)
Region 5: Southern Illinois (Marion, Jefferson, Wayne, Edwards, Wabash, Perry, Jackson, Franklin, Williamson, Saline, Hamilton, White, Gallatin, Union, Johnson, Pope, Hardin, Alexander, Massac, Pulaski)
"Of our remaining regions, the data shows that most are on track to leave Tier 3 in the coming days if current trends hold," Pritzker said Friday.
All of Illinois' 11 regions have been under Tier 3 mitigations since Nov. 20, suspending indoor dining across the state and closing down museums and casinos.
The move to Tier 2 will mean the return of group fitness classes and lower-risk youth and recreational sports, and the reopening of cultural institutions like museums, with a 25% capacity limit, among other things.
Under the state's guidelines, a region can move to Tier 2 mitigations if it sees a test positivity rate less than 12% for three consecutive days and more than 20% of ICU and hospital beds are available, as well as declining COVID-19 hospitalizations in seven of the previous 10 days.
To move to Phase 4, however, the positivity rate must average less than or equal to 6.5 percent over a 3-day period.