CHICAGO — New guidelines released by the City of Chicago Tuesday show what life will be like (and what precautions businesses will be required to take) when the city moves on the next phase of reopening on June 3.
Restrictions put in place by the State of Illinois to prevent the spread of the coronavirus are set to relax slightly starting May 29, but the “Restore Illinois” plan allows local leaders to set their own timelines for moving on the next phase of reopening.
Chicago will move from phase two (Stay-at-Home) to phase three (Cautiously Reopen) on June 3, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Thursday.
Many “non-essential” businesses will be allowed to reopen under guidelines based on those put forward by the state, but catered specifically to Chicago.
Stores can reopen with capacity limits and other restrictions. Restaurants and bars can offer outdoor dining, so long as tables are six feet apart. Businesses can open their doors to workers again, but must restrict their capacity and put up dividers among other measures. Generally speaking, masks are required in all common areas.
On a personal level, Phase 3 allows “non-business” gatherings of 10 people or less. Still, it advises them to observe social distancing, use face coverings in crowded public places, and practice good hygiene by regularly washing their hands.
The City provides guidelines for each type of industry, but here’s what a few will look like on a day-to-day basis:
Educational settings and childcare centers
- Kids will need to undergo health screenings before rejoining a classroom
- Parents and employees must wear facial coverings at all times
- Kids will be required to wear facial coverings when outside the classroom
- Kids will be grouped into stable groups or cohorts with assigned teachers
Office-based jobs, professional services, and real estate services
- Capacity for most office spaces will be reduced to 25 percent of previous totals
- Workspaces must be reconfigured to follow social distancing and be separated by impermeable barriers to enhance safety, where possible
- Individuals will be required to wear a face covering in common areas, or where 6 ft distancing is not possible; smaller common areas closed
Parks and outdoor attractions
- Non-lakefront parks will reopen, but playgrounds remain closed
- Runners, joggers, bikers and walkers must maintain at least 6 ft of social distancing
- Outdoor activities limited to small groups only
- No contact sports allowed
- Social groups maintain physical distancing in open spaces
- Participants and attendees of parks and outdoor attractions are required to wear facial coverings at all times
- Boating is allowed again, but the Playpen remains closed
Stores and retail
- Customers encouraged to maintain physical distancing while in stores
- Impermeable barriers may be used to maintain separation between employees and shoppers
- Employees disinfect stores frequently
- Sanitizing products are readily available for use
- Customers encouraged to us contactless payment
- Customers and employees required to wear facial coverings at all times
- 6ft indicators placed throughout stores to ensure customers maintain physical distancing
Restaurants and coffee shops: Can reopen with outdoor dining only
- Outdoor dining permitted following standard social distancing requirements
- Employees required to wear face coverings at all times, face coverings for guests required when not seated
- Employees and diners encouraged to maintain 6ft physical distancing
Other businesses that will reopen under new guidelines include:
- Libraries and other city services
- Hotels / lodging
- Hair/nail salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors
- Manufacturing, construction, and warehousing
- Hospitals, dentists, community mental health centers, and Federally Qualified Health Centers
- Public transit, regional transit, taxis and rideshare
- Gyms: Can offer outdoor sessions under certain guidelines and one-on-one training.