Metro East to see new coronavirus restrictions Wednesday

Illinois

BELLEVILLE, Ill. – Starting Wednesday, bars and restaurants in the Metro East will be under what Governor J.B. Pritzker is calling “Tier 1” mitigation. That means no indoor dining or bar service. Unlike when this happened the first go-around it is staring to get cold, eliminating restaurant owners’ option of outdoor seating.   

Due to the rising positivity rate of coronavirus cases in the Metro East, new restrictions will be in place beginning Wednesday.

Illinois state guidelines say when a region has a seven-day COVID-19 positivity rate of 8 percent or above for three consecutive days, then restrictions automatically kick in. 

There is a lag in days but the seven-day averages for the most recently recorded days in Region 4 show the last three days in a row are all above percent. 

Region 4 includes seven counties: St. Clair, Madison, Monroe, Clinton, Bond, Washington, and Randolph. Region 4 has already faced restrictions twice before. 

Restaurant owners in Belleville are beginning to get angry with the restrictions. They find them unfair and don’t know if they will be able to make it through this round of restrictions.

Bennie Parr, the owner of Bennie’s Pizza Pub, said this will be the hardest round of restrictions that restaurants have faced yet.

Mitigation measures taking in Regions 4 and 10 include: 

Bars 

  • No indoor service 
  • All outside bar service closes at 11:00 p.m. 
  • All bar patrons should be seated at tables outside 
  • No ordering, seating, or congregating at bar (bar stools should be removed)  
  • Tables should be 6 feet apart  
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting 
  • No dancing or standing indoors 
  • Reservations required for each party 
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table 

Restaurants 

  • No indoor dining or bar service 
  • All outdoor dining closes at 11:00 p.m. 
  • Outside dining tables should be 6 feet apart 
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting 
  • Reservations required for each party  
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table 

Meetings, Social Events, Gatherings 

  • Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25 percent of overall room capacity 
  • No party buses 
  • Gaming and Casinos close at 11:00 p.m., are limited to 25 percent capacity, and follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable 

Rosenberg said organized group recreational activities will not change and all sports guidelines that went into effect on August 15, 2020 will remain in effect.

A full list of mitigation measures pertaining to some businesses and industries may be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) website at www.dceocovid19resources.com/restore-illinois.  

Map of Illinois coronavirus cases:

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