By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago has moved to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, but that does not mean restrictions will lessen as much as allowed.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office announced the city will not be increasing capacity at restaurants yet. The state says Chicago has seen enough consecutive days where the positivity rate was at or below 6.5%, but city health leaders say that’s still not enough. According to a release from the mayor’s office, the city will monitor the impact of the return of indoor dining for at least two weeks, or one incubation period, before considering loosening regulations. Indoor dining and indoor events will remain limited to the lesser of 25% capacity or 25 people per space.

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Bar seating will be allowed, and indoor table size can increase to six people. This is different from the state rules, which allow up to 10 people per table. Bars and restaurants will be able to extend operating hours to midnight with no alcohol service after 11 p.m.

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Most other industries will be limited to the lesser of 40% capacity or 50 people, and the non-essential business curfew will be repealed.

“We continue to see great progress in the ongoing fight against COVID-19, and I am thrilled that our metrics continue to move in the right direction,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “However, while we welcomed the return of limited indoor service last weekend, a rush to expand capacity too quickly would be irresponsible. With cases and positivity rates still higher than before the second surge, now is the time to keep safeguards in place to ensure continued progress and hopefully prevent any rollbacks in the future.”

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On Saturday Illinois public health officials reported 3,345 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, including 65 additional deaths. This brings the total number of cases in the state to 1,123,873, including 19,203 deaths, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from Jan. 23 to Jan. 29 is 4.0%.
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CBS 2 Chicago Staff