Barring a significant rise in COVID-19 metrics, Illinois could lift all capacity limitations and fully reopening its economy as soon as June 11.
But what exactly will it look like, and what changes will be put into place?
Phase 5 will remove capacity limits and restrictions on all sectors of the economy, with “businesses, schools and recreation resuming normal operations with new safety guidance and procedures,” according to state officials.
Conventions, festivals and large events will also be able to resume, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
On Wednesday, the city of Chicago announced it will no longer require masks for fully vaccinated people in most settings following similar changes from the state of Illinois and revised guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Under the current Bridge Phase, which began in Illinois and the city of Chicago on May 14, a number of establishments, such as offices, retail counters, amusement parks, museums, theaters and zoos are limited to 60% capacity. For restaurants, not including those in Chicago, patrons must be seated at least 6 feet apart, and parties must consist of 10 people or fewer. Capacity is limited to 30% indoors and 50% outdoors.
Last week, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she hopes Chicago can fully reopen by June 11, but didn’t commit to a specific date.
“We’re headed in the right direction,” the mayor said at the time. “But everything about this pandemic has to have an asteroid of caution, because of the twists and turns…”
Earlier in May, Lightfoot revealed Chicago was on track to be “fully open” by the Fourth of July holiday and said such a shift will take place when the city sees “continued improvement in COVID metrics and more widespread vaccine uptake.”
Once 50% of residents age 16 and older have been vaccinated and stable or declining COVID-19 metrics are recorded during a 28-day period, Phase 5 will begin, IDPH stated. All of the state’s health care regions will enter the final reopening phase together, as was the case with the Bridge Phase.
Illinois could revert back to a previous phase in its reopening plan if there is a resurgence in the pandemic, officials have said. That would be measured by an unspecified “increasing trend” in Illinois’ case rate as well as one of the following, measured over a 10-day monitoring period:
- Hospital admissions for COVID-19 like illness trend increasing and above 150 daily average
- COVID-19 patients in the hospital trend increasing and above 750 daily census
- Mortality rate trend increasing and above 0.1 daily average
- ICU bed availability < 20%