Businesses across Illinois are bracing for several new restrictions set to take effect at midnight on Friday as state officials hope to put an end to a dangerous surge in coronavirus cases.
The new restrictions, announced by Gov. J.B. Pritzker Tuesday, will force the closures of several businesses and spaces and include new limitations for non-essential businesses.
“I’m much more concerned about the amount of people who are willing to come out and shop,” said Scott Friedland, owner of Timeless Toys in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood.
Stores like Friedland’s are being capped at 25% capacity and it's why the business owner says he’s taking a creative approach to keep customers coming in.
For instance, he's offering giveaways and online demonstrations.
“If you want to shop at home, we are here for you,” Friedland said. “If you want to talk to someone, we are here for you.”
Grocery stores and big box stores will be limited to 50% capacity beginning Friday and many like Lululemon, Target and Best Buy will allow shoppers to wait in virtual lines to prevent lines from growing inside the store.
Gyms across Illinois will also see an impact as Tier 3 mitigations are forcing fitness facilities to limit capacity to 25% and either cancel indoor fitness classes or move them outdoors.
“We’ve had over 50,000 check-ins since reopening and only six cases,” said David Blitz, CEO of Studio Three fitness centers. “It’s not the optimal situation but we are going to still make this work.”
Under the order, all indoor dining service will be stopped at bars and restaurants across the state and casinos and museums will also close.
For a full list of the Tier 3 mitigations click here.