Illinois to ‘fully reopen’ and remove most COVID restrictions Friday


Illinois Governor JB Pritzker removes his face mask before a press conference to announce that applications for the second round of rental assistance funding are now available to help Illinois residents who have experienced economic hardship due to the pandemic, in East St. Louis on Monday, May 17, 2021. The Illinois Rental Payment Program, will be funding $1.1 billion dollars to Illinois renters and landlords in an effort to prevent evictions. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

BELLEVILLE, Ill. – The state of Illinois will eliminate most COVID restrictions tomorrow. Gov. JB Pritzker says that “Phase 5” will begin Friday and will eliminate all capacity limits on businesses, large-scale events, conventions, amusement parks, and all other venues. People who are not vaccinated should continue to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Illinois is on track to meet President Biden’s goal of 70 % of adults initiating a COVID vaccine by July 4. The number of people with COVID in hospitals is at the lowest number since the beginning of the pandemic.

“I invite all Illinoisans to feel the hope and joy of this moment while also recognizing that this pandemic is still very present for the world at large – not to mention those here at home who have not been or cannot be vaccinated. As we take this next step forward, let’s do so with a renewed commitment to empathy, to community, and to making each day together count. You did it, Illinois,” writes Gov. Pritzker.

The state is following CDC guidelines. Now, fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear a mask unless required by businesses, and federal or local laws.

Masks must also be worn by vaccinated and unvaccinated people on public transportation, in prisons, homeless shelters, and health care settings. People in schools or daycares should also continue to mask up.

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