CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois moved into Phase 5 of its reopening plan on Friday, June 11. Businesses, restaurants, bars and hotels are now able to operate without capacity limits, concerts and festivals are allowed to come back, and depending on whether you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, face masks will not always be required.
Following CDC recommendations, both the state and city of Chicago have dropped their mask mandates for fully vaccinated residents. Starting Friday, here's where you do and do not need to wear a mask.
- Businesses and venues where everyone present is fully vaccinated are not required to have face coverings and social distancing, both indoors and outdoors.
- Indoor businesses where everyone present is not fully vaccinated are required to have unvaccinated people wear face coverings and social distance six feet apart.
- At outdoor businesses and venues, unvaccinated people may choose not to wear a face covering when able to maintain six feet of distance, but should wear a face covering in closer quarters.
- All businesses, indoor and outdoor, may require all persons, vaccinated or not, to wear face coverings.
- All unvaccinated people should wear face coverings in crowded settings, indoors and outdoors.
- All persons, whether or not they are fully vaccinated, are required to continue to wear face coverings:
- On public transportation
- In congregate facilities
- In health care settings
- Where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local businesses and workplaces.
- Schools, day cares, and other educational settings should continue to follow separate and specific guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and the Illinois Department of Public Health, which may require face masks in settings where private businesses and other venues may not.
"In Phase 5, restrictions are out the window but if a business asks for masks or a temperature check, that is a decision that they have to make," said Rosa Escareno, Commissioner at The Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer protection.
Escareno warned consumers, saying they must follow every individual business policy. While there are no city or state mandates, restaurants, bars, gyms, and stores can still tell you to mask up, social distance - or even take your temperature. The story is similar for hotels.
"Every hotel brand has different guidelines, most employees wear masks, we encourage masks," Michael Jacobson with the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association said.
"Party on, we're open!" said Sam Sanchez, who is ditching the masks at Old Crow Smokehouse in Wrigleyville. He said all the establishments in his restaurant group will now be mask-free.
"It's the honor system, don't have to wear a mask to go to the bathroom, if a restaurant wants to maintain social distancing, that's their choice," said Sanchez, who is also the Chairman of the Board of the Illinois Restaurant Association. "Follow the rules. If your staff doesn't want to wear a mask, they don't have to, if they are vaccinated. Just get vaccinated, that's all we ask."
But he said some restaurants may choose to have employees wear masks until July.
"We are still in a pandemic, so businesses, consumers and employees still have their own choices to make here and if they want to be safer, then they are going to establish those policies or protocols that make them feel safer and we are totally supportive of that," Escareno said.
Escareno also said that it is legal for business to ask for your vaccine card, especially if it's a completely mask-less environment.
So, you may want to put your vaccine card on your smartphone and keep mask on your wrist, just in case.