Chicago releases guidelines for next phase of reopening, expected in ‘early June’

Chicago News

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 in the coming weeks.

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.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot hasn’t given a firm date for when Chicago will move on to the next phase yet, but the latest from the city indicates it will be sometime in “early June.”

“Chicago is on track to transition from phase two (Stay-at-Home) to phase three (Cautiously Reopen) in early June,” the city said in a statement released Tuesday evening.

The guidelines for individuals set out by the city during “phase three” include: observing social distancing, using face coverings in crowded public places, practicing good hygiene and permitting “non-essential gatherings” of no more than 10 people.

Many “non-essential” businesses will also be allowed to reopen, under guidelines based on those put forward by the state but catered specifically to Chicago.

Generally speaking, masks will be required in all common areas, including parks and newly-reopened stores. Diners eating outdoors will be allowed to remove their masks, but staff members will be required to wear them inside.

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

  • ​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 store
  • ​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.

All the guidelines from the City are available here

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