CHICAGO (CBS) — As the city of Chicago prepares to move to the next phase of reopening the economy sometime in early June, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office has announced guidelines for restaurants, child care, salons, and other businesses.
While some parts of the state will begin easing COVID-19 restrictions on Friday, the mayor has said the city is not quite ready yet. Though she has not given a specific date for when Chicago will move to Phase 3 of the state’s “Restore Illinois” plan for reopening, she has hinted it will be before June 10.
Tuesday evening, Lightfoot’s office announced the guidelines various businesses must follow when they do reopen. The city’s guidelines come just two days after Gov. JB Pritzker issued the state’s rules for reopening.
“Our transition to Phase Three of our reopening framework represents a major step for Chicago and our journey to a safe and successful recovery from the unprecedented COVID19 crisis,” Lightfoot said in a statement.
Restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen outdoor seating areas, with tables at least 6 feet apart, and no more than 6 people per table. Impermeable barriers must be set up at counters, registers, and other locations where 6 feet of distancing isn’t possible. Gatherings in areas like waiting rooms and lounges will be limited to no more than 10 people.
Employees must wear masks at all times, and guests must wear masks whenever they’re not seated. Staff and diners should also maintain 6 feet of distance as much as possible. Staff also must frequently disinfect facilities.
Personal care services, like salons and barbershops, must ensure 6 feet of distance between workstations, and stop using every other workstation if necessary to maintain proper distancing. Staff and customers must wear masks at all times; and employees are encouraged to wear face shields, goggles, and/or gloves for any services requiring close contact. Customer capacity must be limited to 25%, and services like facials that require a customer to remove his or her mask won’t be allowed during Phase 3.
For child care providers, parents and employees will be required to wear masks at all times on site, and children must wear them outside the classroom. Children should be separated into distinct groups throughout the day, and should not change groups once they are established.Daycare centers should avoid access to public playgrounds, and restrict any activities where children would normally interact with other groups.
Group sizes must be limited to 10 or fewer children, and schedules should be designed to limit interaction with other children and parents at the start and end of the day.
For more on the city’s guidelines – including guidance for retail stores, hotels, healthcare providers, parks, and other industries – click here.
The city’s guidelines for sporting events, religious services, outdoor performances, summer programs and youth activities, the Lakefront, and museums will be announced later.
Lightfoot’s office vowed a “robust enforcement strategy” for the new safety guidelines, led by the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection and the Department of Public Health.
“As we begin the road to recovery, it is critical that all Chicago businesses follow the guidance released today to reopen safely and responsibly,” BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareno said in a statement. “The health and safety of our residents has to remain the priority, and these guidelines give Chicago’s businesses a roadmap to begin reopening while protecting our community.”
Businesses with specific questions about the guidelines can call 311. The city is planning a series of webinars to discuss the guidelines, beginning Friday. To register for a webinar, click here.