illinois restaurants

Pritzker: ‘I Want to Bring Back Indoor Dining as Much as Anybody'

Illinois dining could be allowed in Illinois as early as June 26

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has suggested he's looking forward to bringing back indoor dining to restaurants, but when exactly that will happen still hasn't been determined.

Restaurants across Illinois were allowed to open for outdoor dining on May 29, under Phase Three of the state's five-phase reopening plan.

While some states, such as neighboring Indiana, have allowed restaurants to reopen with limited capacity, that hasn't been the case for Illinois.

Indoor dining will be allowed during Phase Four, which Pritzker said last month could come as early as Friday, June 26 if the criteria to move forward is met.

At a news conference Monday afternoon, the governor said allowing indoor dining again is something "we think about everyday."

Pritzker acknowledged that the situation regarding the coronavirus has changed a lot in Illinois and that the positivity rate, which currently stands at approximately 4% statewide, has gone down in recent weeks.

"As that number goes down, it gives us some confidence level about trying to open things up even more," he said.

Restaurants and bars in Illinois have been closed for dine-in service since March 16.

In May, the Illinois Restaurant Association called for Gov. J.B. Pritzker to speed up the timeline for opening the state's restaurants and bars, saying the delay imposed by Pritzker's plan is "excessive even by the most conservative national guidelines."

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