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Illinois Phase 5 reopening: State, Chicago is fully open with almost all COVID-19 restrictions removed



CHICAGO (WLS) – Illinois and Chicago have entered phase 5 and are fully open, with almost all COVID restrictions removed.

Reopening means that crowds of all sizes are allowed in restaurants. This is great news for businesses that are still struggling, as places can return to full capacity without social distancing.

The state is still fighting COVID, but the latest case numbers are low enough to be opened safely.

RELATED: Illinois Face Mask Rules: Where Masks Are Still Required in IL

Gov. JB Pritzker said in a statement Thursday: “I invite all Illinois residents to feel the hope and joy of this moment, while acknowledging that this pandemic is still very much present in the world at large … As we take this next step forward, let us we do it with a renewed commitment to empathy, to the community and to make every day matter. You did it, Illinois.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Alison Aruadi and other city leaders spoke about the opening on Friday morning in front of Gibsons Italia.

“Due to the incredible progress we have made in our mission to stop the spread of COVID-1

9, I am excited to announce that we are able to safely move to Phase 5 and become the first major city in the country to be fully open. again, “said Mayor Lightfoot.” Our ongoing vaccination efforts, which prioritize equity and inclusion, have made a remarkable difference in our COVID-19 journey and resulted in the lowest positive rate since the beginning of the pandemic. This progress, as well as ongoing initiatives such as Open Chicago, have allowed us to safely lift capacity constraints and reconnect our residents with the activities they love most. With today’s announcement and even more residents continuing to do their part and get vaccinated, we are one step closer to being able to put this pandemic in our rearview mirror. “

Chicago is celebrating by partnering with Raise Marketplace and World Business Chicago to distribute hundreds of gift cards by July 4th. The $ 250 gift cards will be hidden in places in all 77 neighborhoods of Chicago to encourage people to return to local business. Gift cards can be used on the Raise Marketplace in over 4,000 shops and restaurants in the city.

There are still some places that will ease the loose constraints, such as the North Side Music Box Theater. They plan to make changes in the next few weeks.

“A lot of them bought the ticket and expect social distancing, reduced capacity and masking, so we don’t think it would be appropriate to pull the rug out from under them,” said Music Box general manager Ryan Estrich.

At Flossmoor Station Restaurant and Brewery, they have endured the ups and downs of the pandemic like thousands of other businesses. They plan to take a measured approach to full opening. The outdoor patio will have 100% capacity, but inside the owner plans to keep things around 75% at least initially to make sure all customers are comfortable.

“We’re excited, but we’re cautious,” said owner Carolyn Armstrong. “And I don’t just want to put a bunch of tables, cram a bunch of tables together. I want to make it easier.”

“It was difficult for everyone and as a village we know this, so we’ve taken steps to help our restaurants and get them through, so we’re really proud of everyone,” said Flossmoor village manager Jim Mitros.

They are not the only ones. Keep in mind that everyone is still required to wear a mask on public transport, health facilities, schools, and more, and they may be required elsewhere. Businesses can impose their own rules on masks.

Cubes hosting “Opening Day 2.0”

Wrigley Field is about to become the most visible indicator that the city is fully open. Cubs call it Opening Day 2.0.

They are excited to welcome fans back to the stadium at full capacity for the first time since September 2019.

The Cubs started a three-match home game against their rival in the St. Louis Cardinals division.

As part of the transition to Phase 5, the club amended its health and safety protocols. From Friday, outdoor and indoor capacity restrictions will be removed, physical distancing will no longer be required on the sports ground and pod-style seats will be removed.

To maintain full capacity, the doors will open two hours before the first course.

I think it’s going to be crazy, “said Jarod Gaugrer.” I’m really excited. Then there will be a lot of fans, just great people who are excited. “

“The reopening day with 100 percent capacity, I mean, there’s nothing like going to a Wrigley Field game with everyone here,” said Cubs fan Nicholas Ricciardi.

Holders of dice season tickets will return to their season ticket location, and Budweiser Bleachers will return to general admission.

Meanwhile, Cubs’ mask policy is based on a system of honor … if you’re vaccinated, you won’t wear one.

“One of our latest surveys showed that 96 percent of season ticket holders have been vaccinated, so the feeling is that people who come to the playground knowing you’re going to sit next to someone … you’re probably going to do everything you can. to make sure you’re protected, “said Cubs Vice President of Communications Julian Green.

Wrigleyville bars will also be at full capacity. For Sluggers, this is more than revenue.

“We will go back to what we always knew and what we know, and back to normal business and normal numbers, normal amounts of entertainment,” said co-owner David Strauss.

“So we actually got here early,” said Cubs fans Lexis Curtis. “We’ve called people before to make sure the bars are open at 10 a.m., so we’re excited to be here and experience everything.”

The contactless entry process and bag restrictions introduced at the beginning of the regular season will remain in place, as will mobile tickets and non-cash discounts and retail.

“Well, we followed the rules where we had to, so we didn’t make a difference, as long as we came and enjoyed the game,” said Cardinals fan Nick Bevis.

Fan of the hardened cubes Bill Murray is expected to sing the 7th inning section. The first pitch is at 13:20

The White Sox plans to allow crowds at full capacity on the field at a guaranteed rate on June 25.

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