Illinois Updates Safety Guidelines for Bars and Restaurants

New Illinois Restaurant Guidelines
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Today the State of Illinois announced revised guidelines for restaurants and bar establishments statewide to operate safely and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 that will go into effect across the state on Wednesday, August 26th.

Facemasks Required During Interactions

Based on a recent increase in cases, and in order to keep restaurant hospitality workers safe, these latest guidelines will require patrons to wear a mask during any interaction with wait staff, food service workers and other employees at bars and restaurants.
Face coverings must be worn over the nose and mouth when patrons are approached and served by staff, including but not limited to when employees take patrons orders, deliver food and beverages, and service tables. This guidance will also apply to other facilities with food services areas that are currently subject to the Restore Illinois guidance, such as indoor recreational facilities, museums and entertainment venues.

Full guidelines may be found on the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) website.

“Illinois residents continue to take important steps to protect the safety of our loved ones and neighbors. However, due to a recent uptick in cases, we must take additional precautionary steps when we are out in public,” said Governor J.B. Pritzker. “Based on conversations and input from industry and business leaders, the State of Illinois is implementing updated guidelines which will allow restaurants and bars across the state to stay open while helping protect the health and safety of patrons and staff.”

Keeping Restaurant Workers Safe

“On behalf of the thousands of restaurant workers that we serve in Illinois and across the country, we strongly support Gov. JB Pritzker’s initiative to enforce restaurant guidance during this unprecedented public health crisis. This is significantly critical for the safety and health of our restaurant workers and customers—and the gateway for workers to get their jobs back and revive the economy,” said Sekou Siby, president and CEO of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United. “The restaurant industry employs nearly 14 million workers or 10% of the entire U.S. workforce. This updated guidance, which can be a model for other states, underscores the need for a vital policy on how restaurant businesses should reopen safely, equitably and responsibly.”
To assist bars and restaurants with implementing new safety measures, DCEO has provided an updated industry toolkit on their website.

Will County Stricter Guidelines

It was announced yesterday that Region 7 which includes Will and Kankakee Counties, received stricter guidelines following three consecutive days of 8% positivity rates. Those new guidelines will go into effect on August 26th as well.