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Pritzker makes it official: Illinois will fully reopen June 11 (free content)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on Friday, June 4, that the state will move into Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan, which removes business capacity limits that have been in place since March 2020.

Infection rates have decreased steadily after a surge in mid-April. The test positivity rate was 4.1% on April 17 and had fallen to 1.3% on Friday, the lowest the number has been since the pandemic began. 

Although vaccination rates have declined since peaking on April 13, 67% of residents 18 and older have received at least one dose.

The move means businesses, large-scale events, conventions, amusement parks and seated-spectator venues, among others, will be able to operate at full capacity for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The state is also lifting the outdoor mask requirement in schools in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“After a tremendously challenging year, Illinois has now reached a defining moment in our efforts to defeat COVID-19,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker. “Thanks to the hard work of residents across the state, Illinois will soon resume life as we knew it before — returning to events, gatherings and a fully reopened economy, with some of the safety guidelines we’ve adopted still in place.”

Upon entering Phase 5, fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws or by businesses and employers.

The state will continue to recommend masking for anyone who is unvaccinated and require it for all people while traveling on public transportation, in congregate settings, in health care settings, as well as in schools, day cares and educational institutions. 

Businesses and local municipalities can put in place additional mitigations as they deem appropriate.

Phase 5 removes requirements that businesses institute mandatory social distancing in seated venues, as well as daily health screenings of employees and visitors. Businesses and venues should continue to allow for social distancing to the extent possible, especially indoors. 

Businesses and venues may also continue to put in place additional public health mitigations as they deem appropriate, including requiring face coverings.

“This pandemic has robbed us of many of our freedoms such as going to ball games and concerts, celebrating graduations, weddings, and birthdays, going to dinner with friends, and even sharing a hug with loved ones we don’t live with,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “The vaccine is giving us our freedoms back and allowing us to move to Phase 5.  Let’s keep the vaccination momentum going so we can put this pandemic in the rearview mirror and not look back.”

The guidance for schools has been updated to align with the CDC guidelines, including lifting the requirement for individuals to mask outdoors in most situations.

Businesses and communities can learn more about Phase 5 recommended public health practices by visiting IDPH’s website.

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