State enters Phase 4 of reopening plan


Patrick Murphy

DeKalb businesses begin to re-open and offer outdoor shopping and dining in downtown DeKalb.

Kierra Frazier, Reporter

DeKALB —The state has moved into the fourth stage of its coronavirus reopening plan which permits gatherings of 50 or fewer people and indoor dining at restaurants. 

Phase Four began on June 26 and is a part of the five-pronged “Restore Illinois” plan which is based on public health metrics issued by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. 

The fourth phase allows indoor dining in restaurants and can serve gatherings of up to 10 people. Tables should maintain at least a six feet distance from each other, according to the reopening plan. Standing areas in restaurants and bars also must be limited to no more than 25% of capacity. 

Employees who are able to still work from home should continue to do so, according to the reopening plan. Illinois residents should also still wear face coverings and practice social distancing measures when they are out in public. 

With social distancing measures in place, all retail stores can operate at 50% of store capacity, according to the plan. 

Health and fitness centers can operate up to 50% of capacity and group classes of up to 50 people are permitted. Face coverings use is required by employees at fitness centers. All outdoor recreation is also allowed open in the fourth phase. 

Hair salons and personal care businesses are allowed to operate as long as the employee and customer are both wearing a face covering. Businesses may operate at 50% capacity. 

Entertainment venues such as movie theaters, plays, musicals and more are allowed in the fourth phase with capacity limits and health guidelines. Indoor theaters can operate with 50 people or 50% of capacity and outdoor venues are limited to 20% of capacity. 

Summer day camps and child daycare are able to open with a capacity limit of no more than 50% with group sizes of 15 children or fewer. 

Indoor recreation facilities such as bowling alleys and skating rinks are open to operate with a limited number of 50 customers. Face coverings and social distancing measures apply to these facilities. 

Museums and zoos are also open with a capacity of no more than 25% with guided tours limited to have 50 people or fewer. 

The only way for the state to move to the fifth phase is to have an effective vaccine or treatment available, according to the reopening plan. 

“We’ve seen what’s happened in other states that have allowed politics or short-term thinking to drive decision-making,” Pritzker said in a June 25 news release. “Many other states are now seeing significant increases in cases, hospitalizations, and intensive care bed usage and they’re being forced to move backward and stay at home – that’s not the story in Illinois.”