CHICAGO — Illinois is lifting all capacity limits on bars, restaurants, businesses and other venues Friday, nearly 15 months after the first stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic.
Businesses still can have their own rules for capacity, masks and social distancing. Masks are still required on public transportation and in airports, schools and hospitals.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday that “as we take this next step forward, let’s do so with a renewed commitment to empathy, to community, and to making each day together count.”
Mike Cavoto tells WGN he is excited to venture amongst a fully reopened Illinois beginning Friday.
“We all got cabin fever so it’s time to get out,” he said.
One the eve of the state’s full reopening, seeing so many people out and about at Navy Pier, Cavoto says, was great to see.
“I would walk down here and I’d be almost the only one,” he said. “Now, its nice to see people out.”
Business owners anticipate a big weekend ahead.
“They’re expecting 66,000 people to be in the pier from Friday until Tuesday,” said Leticia Tischina, general manager at Harry Caray’s Tavern. “We’ve been closed eight months and opened in April and it’s been non-stop since then. It feels amazing to be back.”
State health officials say more than 68% of Illinois residents who are 18 or older have received at least one dose of vaccine against the coronavirus, and 51% of adults are fully vaccinated.