December 1, 2021

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Restore Illinois Phase 3 Coronavirus Business Guidelines Released

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Reopening guidelines for Illinois businesses expected to be permitted to open their doors again this week have been released by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The agency Sunday released industry-specific toolkits for the third phase of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s five-stage Restore Illinois plan for offices, retail stores, fitness centers, restaurants and bars, personal care services, youth sports, service counters, day camps and manufacturing.

Pritzker said his administration had collected input on the new guidelines from hundreds of industry members as it developed its Phase 3 reopening framework. Some industries have imposed even stricter measures, he said.

“These recommendations reflect the questions and ideas brought to us by businesses of every size, background and region in the state, and by their workers and prioritize public health as our guiding light,” Pritzker said. “You can’t build a strong economy is people aren’t comfortable being a part of it.”

According to the governor’s office, about 700,000 Illinois residents are anticipated to be able to return to work under the next phase of the Restore Illinois plan. That represents an estimated 20 percent of the state’s overall economy.

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“New guidance provided by the State today will help ensure a safe reopening for businesses, customers and communities at large,” said Michael Negron, assistant director of Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. “As Illinois works toward its recovery, DCEO is committed to providing businesses across our state clear and actionable guidance that will allow them to implement safe operations so they can get back on track.”

The state agency has developed a Phase 3 business toolkit with signage, training checklists and other materials to help ensure public health recommendations are followed.

“Remember, along with appropriate social distancing, wearing a mask or face covering is likely the most important thing we can do for our public health as we restore parts of our everyday lives,” the governor said. “The virus is still out there. the vast majority of people are not immune and the risks of mass spread we faced before we ever had a stay-at-home order remain — if we don’t do something different now than we were doing before the virus arrived. And that means covering your face and maintaining some distance, it’s really that simple.”

Read more:

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Find brief summaries below of the Restore Illinois Phase 3 reopening guidelines by industry, via the DCEO:

Health and Fitness Businesses

  • Only one-on-one personal training and outdoor fitness classes with a maximum of 10 participants

  • Wear face coverings and maintain 6-foot distance

  • Sanitize equipment and exercise are before and after each use

  • Saunas, hot tubs, pools remain closed

  • No water fountains, only touchless water bottle refilling stations or single use bottles

  • Sanitization of common areas

  • Reservations only

Manufacturing Businesses

  • Wear face coverings and maintain 6-foot distance

  • Frequent hand washing required

  • Disinfect vending machines after each use

  • Minimize the use of shared work materials, equipment and papers

  • Disinfect workstations before every shift and in between handoffs

  • Minimize in-person meetings whenever possible


  • Wear face coverings around others, maintain 6 feet of physical distance between others

  • Stagger start and end times to reduce congestion on elevators and public transit

  • Keep desks free from clutter for easier cleaning

  • Limit office occupancy to half of capacity and encourage remote working

  • Disinfect workstations upon entering office and before leaving

  • Minimize in-person meetings, limit any mandatory meeting to 10 people with social distancing

Personal Care Services

  • Customers and employees must wear face coverings during service

  • Work station should be configured to keep customers 6 feet apart

  • Remove magazines and any shared items from waiting areas

  • No food or beverages will be served

  • Fully disinfect workstations before serving each customer and at closing times

  • Sanitize reusable customer articles, like towels, blanks and robes, after each use

  • Limit occupancy to 50 percent of capacity or five customers per 1,000 square feet

  • Reservations only

Restaurants and Bars

  • Wear face coverings in the presence of others

  • Maintain social distance, keep at least 6 feet between tables and no more than six people per party

  • Only outdoor drinking and dining allowed, whichi includes rooftops, patios and areas with removable walls

  • Wash hands for 20 seconds at least once every 30 minutes

  • Eliminate refilling customer beverages and keep self-service stations closed

  • Clean and disinfect common areas and frequently touched surfaces every 30 minutes, multi-use items after each use and tables and chairs after each party

Retail Businesses

  • Wear face coverings in the presence of others

  • Maintain social distance of at least 6 feet

  • Sanitize common areas and frequently touched areas every two hours

  • Checkout keypads, self-checkout stations, shopping cars and baskets should be disinfected after every use

  • Limit occupancy to 50 percent of store capacity or five customers per 1,000 square feet

  • No reusable shopping bags allowed, customers must bag own items

Service Counters (including dry cleaners, repair shops)

  • Wear face coverings in the presence of others

  • Maintain social distance of at least 6 feet

  • Frequent hand washing requred

  • Remove magazines and any shared items from waiting areas

  • Incoming items and finished items must be kept separate

  • No more than 50 percent of occupancy or five customers per 1,000 square feet

Youth Sports

  • Drills only, no contact sports or games

  • Everyone should wear face coverings and maintain 6 feet of distance

  • Water fountains must stay closed

  • Groups must be limited to 10 per adult and each group must be 30 feet apart

  • A designated staff member must be responsible for monitoring social distancing

  • No walk-in or pick-up games

  • Participants must wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer before participating.

Individual communities in Illinois and various business associations may establish stricter requirements. Some municipalities have announced plans to require new applications for outdoor dining and fitness classes. Business owners should check with local authorities for location-specific restrictions and guidelines.

The state commerce department has established a hotline for business operators with questions about Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan. Customers, employees and business owners may call 800-252-2923 or email [email protected] for questions about the new phase, which could begin as soon as Friday.

This article originally appeared on the Across Illinois Patch

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