On Sunday, May 24, Governor JB Pritzker announced the industry-specific guidelines governing the re-opening of businesses in Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan. He said on many occasions during the prior week that the guidelines were forthcoming. He has reiterated on many occasions that all four regions of the State are on track to move to Phase 3 this coming Friday.
In Phase 3, businesses in the following industries may reopen subject to the new guidelines: retail, offices, manufacturing, barbershops and salons, summer programs, various outdoor recreation activities and bars and restaurants for outdoor dining.
The new guidelines are posted on the website of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and are available here. There are a separate set of guidelines and tool kits for manufacturing, offices, retail stores, service centers, youth and sports, health and fitness centers, personal care service, outdoor recreation, day camps, and restaurants and bars (outdoor dining and drinking). https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/pages/restoreILP3.aspx
The toolkits includes signage, training checklists and other resources to help business owners and workers implement the new guidelines.
“In every aspect of our pandemic response, and especially as we begin to safely reopen meaningful swaths of our economy, our number one priority must be the health and safety of our workers, our customers, and Illinoisans at large,” said Gov. Pritzker in a prepared statement. “The industry-specific baseline guidance for businesses the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity released today will help employers re-open their doors in Phase 3 in line with that priority. In order to cover as many unique aspects of industry as possible, my administration collected input from hundreds of industry participants across the State and these guidelines reflect the questions and ideas brought to us by businesses of every size, background, and region in the state – and prioritize public health as our guiding light. You can’t build a strong economy if people aren’t comfortable being a part of it.”
Phase 3 of Restore Illinois is expected to bring approximately 700,000 Illinoisans back to the workplace, a key step towards getting the Illinois economy back on track—with an estimated 20 percent, or $150 billion in annual GDP, of the overall economy returned to operations, said the Governor.
In addition to industry-specific guidelines, DCEO and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) developed a common set of standards all businesses must follow. Those standards include the required use of face coverings, social distancing, and informational signage on site, among other preventative measures.
Guidelines Applicable to Retail Stores
As an example of the types of things covered in the guidelines, some of the guidelines applicable to retail stores are summarized below. The Retail Guidelines apply to “customer-facing stores engaged in retailing merchandise and service, which includes, without limitation, grocery stores, hardware stores, clothing stores, pharmacies, department stores, and shopping malls.
The “minimum” guidelines for retail stores include: