COVID-19 restrictions for Chicago bars, restaurants and gyms in effect Friday

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CHICAGO — A recent uptick in the number of coronavirus cases in Chicago means new restrictions take effect Friday for many businesses in the city including bars, restaurants and gyms.

Gyms will now be required to limit their indoor class sizes to just 10 people.

Adam Paris, the owner of 12 Orangetheory franchises around Illinois and for about three months this year, had zero income due to COVID-19 restrictions. He was able to reopen last month with several restrictions in place, such as temperatures being checked on the way in. Now, with Friday’s changes, he says they’ll likely be put under even more strain.

Gyms such as Orangetheory are cleaning before members go inside. They are also providing wipes and hand sanitizer on the way in. Orangetheory is also spacing out their equipment so members are far apart.

Paris said they’ve done everything here to comply with the Phase 4 reopening restrictions, which included a mandate for gyms to operate at 25% of their capacity. But now, starting Friday, gym class sizes will be limited to just 10 people.

Paris said that requirement is going to be troublesome for small businesses.

“We are going to have to add roughly 13 classes about 20% more for a business already feeling the pinch of operating in the current conditions,” Paris said.

Paris said there are 60 Orangetheory locations around the state, and earlier this week they collectively passed 100,000 workouts without any known trace spread of COVID-19.

Other businesses will also be feeling the effects of the new restrictions. The following changes will be taking place:

  • Bars, taverns, breweries and other establishments that serve alcohol for on-site consumption without a Retail Food license will no longer be able to serve customers indoors.
  • Restaurants that serve alcohol will be allowed to continue to operate as long as they abide by ongoing COVID-19 guidance and existing regulations.
  • Establishments without food may still provide outdoor service as they did under phase three.
  • Maximum party size and table occupancy at restaurants, bars, taverns and breweries will be reduced to six people.
  • Indoor fitness class size will be reduced to a maximum of 10 people.
  • Personal services requiring the removal of face coverings will no longer be permitted (shaves, facials, etc.).
  • Residential property managers will be asked to limit guest entry to five per unit to avoid indoor gatherings and parties.


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