May showers bring … dining al fresco? That’s not exactly how the saying goes, but it could become the “new normal,” at least for now. On the heels of Memorial Day, local businesses are preparing to reopen their doors.
“The wonderful news is that as of Friday, May 29, we will be able to move into Phase 3 of reopening our state, allowing several additional categories of businesses to open their doors,” says Joanna Rolek, Executive Director of the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce.
Restrictions began going into place in Illinois in early March, with Governor JB Prtizker issuing an official Stay at Home Order on March 21. Following Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order, a five-phased plan to reopen the state was created and released on May 5 with guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (ILDPH).
Phase 3, also known as Recovery, follows the Flattening phase, and the focus is to reopen certain businesses while maintaining a stable or declining infection rate from COVID-19 through safety measures, robust testing, and contact tracing.
So, what is opening on May 29? To name a few: restaurants and bars for outdoor dining, gyms and fitness centers, salons and barbershops, clothing retailers, youth sports, and more. As with any move forward, there will be some adjustments needed by not only business owners and operators, but the guests who plan to visit as well. Here are some of the key guidelines to look for in the upcoming weeks:
RESTAURANTS AND BARS will be allowed to open for outdoor dining. Businesses may serve guests on open rooftops, connected outdoor dining spaces, or indoor spaces where at least 50 percent of windows or doors can be removed and guests are within eight feet of the opening. Dining parties must consist of no more than six people.
OUTDOOR FITNESS CLASSES with up to 10 participants will be allowed for nocontact activities, but distancing guidelines of 10 feet between participants must be in place. One-on-One training sessions will be allowed but occupancy and distancing guidelines are in place. Reservations are required and equipment must be sanitized before and after use by members.
PERSONAL CARE SERVICES, such as those performed at hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, spas, massage parlors, waxing centers, and tattoo parlors, will be allowed, but customers and employees must wear a face covering while services are performed. Massages and body treatments should be 30 minutes or less. Workspaces should allow at least 6 feet of distance between customers and 50 percent occupancy standards should be enforced.
YOUTH SPORTS drills, practices, and lessons that are no-contact and allow 6 feet of social distancing may begin, but competitive games will not be allowed. Occupancy limits for indoor facilities will apply and groups should be limited to 10 participants or less per each adult. Appointments are required (no pick-up games) and participants should be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. Spectators are not permitted unless required for parental supervision or if social distancing can be maintained.
RETAIL BUSINESSES including clothing stores, shopping malls, and departments stores will reopen for in-store shopping, but 50 percent occupancy guidelines apply, and face coverings should be worn. Customers should not bring reusable shopping bags into stores and shopping mall food courts should have indoor seating and tables removed.
OUTDOOR RECREATION FACILITIES should allow at least 10 feet of distancing between customer stations, and face coverings should be worn. Clubhouses should be closed.
For more information on Restore Illinois and the guidelines for Phase 3: Recovery, visit coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/restore-illinois-introduction.