Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Sunday he's "seriously looking at" locking down bars and restaurants in Illinois as coronavirus continues to spread in the state.
In an interview on "Meet the Press," Pritzker said he's planning for such a step after state officials revealed 20 new confirmed cases, including the first in downstate locations.
"We’ve been on the trajectory now and planning for each of these steps," Pritzker told Meet the Press' Chuck Todd. "Because it’s not easy. You can imagine each one of these decisions has consequences to them that are not just about the pandemic they’re also about people’s livelihoods. So, we’re actually looking hard at that decision making today. We obviously saw what happened in Europe. Nowhere in the United States really has there been a lockdown on bars and restaurants but it’s something we’re seriously looking at."
Already Sunday, Chicago announced new restrictions for bars and restaurants as St. Patrick's Day festivities continued despite the postponement of the city's parade and river dyeing festivities.
The city said it would enforce measures requiring all businesses that sell liquor to have less than half of their regular max capacity and a max capacity of 100 people. Businesses are also not allowed to have patrons line up outside.
Illinois has already banned large gatherings of 1,000 people or more, postponed or canceled major events like the Shamrock Shuffle and closed the iconic Bean to the public. Museums across the city have closed their doors along with popular tourist destination Navy Pier and every major sports team in the city has suspended games and events.