Featured
Type: Law Bulletins
Date: 06/29/2020

Restore Illinois Summary: Phase Four

On June 26, 2020, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-43, which authorizes all regions of Illinois — including Chicago — to move into Phase 4 of Restore Illinois, Pritzker’s five?phase plan for moving Illinois forward through the COVID?19 pandemic. In conjunction with the transition to Phase 4, both the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the City of Chicago have issued updated, industry-specific safety guidelines for reopening the state’s economy.

This article focuses on the DCEO’s guidelines, though the Chicago guidelines are similar. The biggest differences between them relate to the capacity limits for various types of business — whereas the DCEO guidelines permit several categories of indoor businesses to operate at 50% of their capacity limits, the Chicago guidelines generally limits indoor businesses to 25% capacity. Both the DCEO and the City of Chicago have indicated that they may adjust these capacity limits as circumstances warrant doing so over time.

General Requirements for All Businesses

In Phase 4, businesses should continue to encourage remote work when possible, and employees must practice social distancing and wear face coverings where distancing is not possible. Business must also ensure that workplace visitors practice social distancing. Subject to these requirements, businesses may now conduct in-person meetings of up to 50 people.

Employers should also have a wellness screening program. And, if practical, employers should conduct pre-shift and mid-shift temperature screenings via infrared/thermal camera or touchless thermometer. In-person screening is preferred, though virtual screening is permitted.

Requirements for Restaurants and Bars

Phase 4 allows restaurants and bars to reopen for indoor dining and drinking for parties of up to 10 people, subject to the following conditions, which also apply to outdoor establishments:

  • Tables should be arranged at least six feet apart or have an impermeable barrier between them.
  • Standing areas should be limited to 25% of maximum capacity.
  • Buffets and other self-service stations must adhere to additional precautions.
  • Table presets, such as ketchup bottles and salt and pepper shakers, should be eliminated.
  • Where practical, disposable or touchless menus should be used.
  • Live music is permitted, provided that employees and performers follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Dance floors should remain closed.

Requirements for Health and Fitness Centers

The Phase 4 guidelines permit health and fitness centers to reopen in an increased capacity, subject to the following conditions:

  • Capacity should be limited to 50% of maximum occupancy and group classes should be limited to 50 people.
  • Workout stations should be at least six feet apart.
  • Equipment should be sanitized before and after use, and locker rooms and showers should be sanitized at least every hour.
  • Members should wear face coverings when they are not exercising.

Requirements for Indoor and Outdoor Recreation

In Phase 4, most customer-facing indoor and outdoor recreation facilities (such as bowling alleys, skating ranks, and driving ranges) may reopen, subject to the following conditions:

  • Indoor recreation facilities may operate at the lesser of 50 customers or 50% of facility capacity.
  • Outdoor recreation facilities may permit group sizes of up to 50 people.
  • Activity stations should be set up at least six feet apart and disinfected before and after each use.
  • Water parks and swimming pools may reopen in accordance with guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • Amusement parks, trampoline parks, and indoor playgrounds remain closed.

Requirements for Theaters and Performing Arts Facilities

Phase 4 also permits theaters and performing arts facilities to reopen, subject to the following conditions:

  • Indoor venues must be limited to the lesser of 50 people or 50% of facility capacity, while outdoor venues must be limited to 20% of capacity.
  • Seating must be available for all patrons.
  • Patrons must wear a face covering while seated.
  • General admission shows and/or events with standing room only are not permitted.

Requirements for Personal Care Services Facilities

The Phase 4 guidelines for personal care services facilities (such as spas, hair salons, and tattoo parlors) are similar to the Phase 3 guidelines, with a few exceptions:

  • Capacity should be limited to 50% of facility occupancy.
  • If the service requires the customer to remove his or her mask, the employee must wear both a face mask and eye protection.
  • Hair dryers and blow dry services are allowed.

Requirements for Retail Stores

The Phase 4 guidelines for retail stores are similar the Phase 3 guidelines. Such businesses may continue to operate under the following conditions:

  • Provide face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain a minimum six-foot social distance from customers and other employees at all times.
  • Cap occupancy at 50% of store capacity.
  • Communicate with customers through in-store signage, and public service announcements and advertisements, about social distancing and face covering requirements.
  • Discontinue use of reusable bags.

Requirements for Manufacturers

The Phase 4 guidelines for manufacturers are similar to the Phase 3 guidelines. Such businesses may continue to operate under the following conditions:

  • Provide face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain a minimum six-foot social distance at all times.
  • Ensure that all spaces where employees may gather, including locker rooms and lunchrooms, allow for social distancing.
  • Modify and downsize operations (staggering shifts, reducing line speeds, operating only essential lines, while shutting down non-essential lines) to the extent necessary to allow for social distancing and to provide a safe workplace in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

Requirements for Offices

The Phase 4 guidelines for offices are similar to the Phase 3 guidelines. Such businesses may continue to operate under the following conditions:

  • Provide face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain a minimum six-foot social distance at all times.
  • Reduce occupancy to no more than 50% of maximum capacity.
  • Allow telework where possible.
  • Develop and prominently post plans and signage to ensure social distancing in shared spaces such as waiting rooms, service counters, and cafeterias.

Requirements for Other Businesses and Activities

In addition, DCEO has released guidelines for day camps, youth and recreational sports, film production, museums, and zoos:

  • Day camps may operate at 50% of the facility’s maximum occupancy and with groups of 15 participants or fewer (10 if the participants change week by week). Outdoor activities should be encouraged.
  • Youth and recreational sports are permitted with up to 50 participants or 50% of facility capacity, and 20% seating capacity for spectators.
  • Film production may resume, with crowd scenes limited to 50 people or fewer and capacity limited to no more than 50% of sound stage or location occupancy. In addition, a nasal swab for RT-PCR testing of all cast and crew should be obtained within two to three days prior to the start of work on a set or location.
  • Museums and zoos may reopen at 25% of their maximum capacity.

Moving to Phase 5

Phase 5 is the final phase of the Restore Illinois plan, when all sectors of the economy can resume normal operations with new safety guidance and procedures. Illinois (or one of its four regions) will be able to be able to move to this final stage only when one of the following criteria is met:

  • A vaccine is developed to prevent additional spread of COVID-19.
  • A treatment option is readily available that ensures health care capacity is no longer a concern.
  • There are no new cases over a sustained period.

State and Municipal Links to COVID-19 Guidance

Below are helpful links to guidance issued by Illinois state agencies and the City of Chicago regarding COVID-19:

Governor’s Office

Illinois Department of Public Health

General

Industry-Specific Businesses

Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

General

Industry-Specific

Illinois Department of Labor

City of Chicago

Guidance

Business Affairs and Consumer Protection – City of Chicago Webinar Links

Please visit our COVID-19 Toolkit for all of Taft’s updates on the coronavirus.

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