These Are the Rules for Outdoor Dining in Chicago's Phase 3

There are limits on the number of people at one table and other restrictions will be in place.

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Chicago's phase three of reopening has officially arrived and that means restaurants will be allowed to offer outdoor dining for guests.

Still, there are limits on the number of people at one table and other restrictions will be in place.

Here's a look at the guidelines:


  • Restaurants may no longer allow walk-ins, meaning most outdoor dining experiences will be reservation only
  • Limit dining to no more than six people per table
  • Limit gatherings to no more than 10 individuals. A gathering is defined as "a planned or spontaneous event where individuals are interacting with non-household members within close proximity for an extended time period." This means no events or parties with more than 10 individuals split up at tables of six or less
  • Tables must be six feet apart. Where that's not possible, use impermeable barriers (e.g., counters, service, tables, registers, etc.)

Face Coverings

  • All staff must be wearing face coverings
  • Customers will also be required to wear face coverings when they’re not safely seated at their table

Menus and Other Experiences

  • Provide disposable table items where possible (e.g., menus, containers, condiments). If practical, use fixed menu boards or digital menus
  • Discontinue use of self-serve food and drink stations
  • Contactless pickup available and contactless payment encouraged
  • Visual signage posted throughout facilities regarding hygiene, social distancing, proper PPE and more


  • Restaurants will provide sanitizer stations
  • Employees frequently disinfect facilities
  • Ensure dishwashers have access to equipment to protect eyes, nose, and mouth from contaminant splash (e.g., face coverings, protective glasses, and/or face shields)
  • Prohibit entry to anyone (including customers, staff, or vendors) with displayed or self-identified symptoms

Street Closures for Additional Seating

Over the coming weeks, several streets in the city will be closed to traffic during specific hours so restaurants can move tables and chair into streets for increase capacity.

These six streets will be among the first in the program:

  • Chatham: 75th Street from Calumet Avenue to Indiana Avenue
  • Lakeview: Broadway from Belmont Avenue to Diversey Parkway
  • Little Village: 26th Street from Central Park to Harding Avenue
  • Rush & Division: Rush Street from Oak Street to Cedar Street 
  • Near West Side: Taylor Street from Loomis Street to Ashland Avenue
  • West Loop: Randolph Street from Expressway no further than Elizabeth Street

An exact timing for when the streets will close remained unclear.

The move into phase three, though later than the rest of Illinois, will allow a number of businesses to resume operations at limited capacity and with certain restrictions in place.

Here's a look at the other industries reopening in the city:

  • Childcare centers and family childcare
  • Non-lakefront parks (no contact sports)
  • Libraries and other city services
  • Office-based jobs, professional services, and real estate services
  • Hotels / lodging
  • Outdoor attractions (e.g., boating – not including the Playpen, non-Lakefront golf courses)
  • Non-essential retail
  • Personal services (e.g., hair/nail salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors)
  • Restaurants and coffee shops (outdoor dining only)
  • Manufacturing, construction, and warehousing
  • Hospitals, dentists, community mental health centers, and Federally Qualified Health Centers
  • Public transit, regional transit, taxis and rideshare
  • Gyms (outdoor and 1:1 personal training only)

The capacity of those industries will be "incrementally" increased as time goes on "based on health criteria progression and adherence," Lightfoot's office said.

June 8:

City services won't be allowed to reopen until June 8, Lightfoot said. That includes libraries and park facilities west of Lake Shore Drive.

Lightfoot said some other industries and businesses may open later in phase three, but "we'll have to wait and see how these initial first steps go." Those mentioned include:

  • Summer programs & youth activities (e.g., Park District, private summer camps)
  • Religious services
  • Gyms
  • The Lakefront
  • Limited-capacity outdoor performances
  • Museums

Schools, playgrounds, bars and lounges, and large venues like stadiums, indoor theaters, music venues and convention centers will remain closed, Lightfoot said.

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