Restore Illinois: 5-phase reopening plan by Governor Pritzker splits IL into 4 regions, Phase 3 reopening changes

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Gov. JB Pritzker's Restore Illinois plan calls for reopening the state in five phases after meeting key benchmarks.

The plan splits Illinois into four regions: Northeast, North-Central, Central, and South, allowing each to move separately through the phases.

As part of Phase Two of the plan, non-essential retail businesses can open for pickup and delivery and golf and some other outdoor activities allowed with strict rules.

To get to Phase Three, officials say infection rates, hospitalizations and demand for ICU beds must be stable or declining. That would allow manufacturing, offices, retail and services, including hair salons, to reopen. Non-essential gatherings of ten or less would be allowed.

In Phase Four, any region would have to report a continued decline in infection rates and hospitalizations. That would allow restaurants and bars, child care and schools to reopen with safety rules and gatherings of up to 50 would be allowed.

Phase Five would mean the economy would fully open, likely after a treatment or vaccine.

WATCH: Here's what's changed about Phase 3 of Illinois' reopening
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Here's what you can expect to change when Illinois moves to Phase 3 of Gov. Pritzker's reopening plan.

On May 20, Pritzker announced significant changes to Phase Three of the plan, which the entire state is scheduled to move to on May 29. Here are the changes as issued by the governor's office:


  • With Phase 3, bars and restaurants will have the option to resume operations for outdoor seating only. Tables must be 6 feet apart and away from the sidewalks, masks and distancing measures for staff must continue to be followed, and other precautions and guidance will be issued.

  • These measures will allow restaurants to reopen at a risk comparable to other outdoor activities, while giving the state's hospitality industry a much-needed boost.

  • Municipalities are encouraged to help restaurants and bars expand their outdoor seating options.

  • To date, the administration has delivered over $14 million in small business grants averaging $20,000 to 699 bars, restaurants and hotels across 270 individual cities in Illinois.


  • With the start of Phase Three, all state parks will reopen on May 29. All concession will reopen as well under guidelines set for our retail and food service businesses in Phase Three. Illinois will permit the reopening of indoor and outdoor tennis facilities with Illinois Department of Public Health safety precautions and capacity limits.

  • For golf, in Phase Three, courses can allow foursomes out on the same tee times. Carts will also be permitted with one person per cart, or one immediate household per cart.

  • With the new 10-person gathering limit for all activities in Phase Three, boating or camping with up to 10 people will be permitted.

  • The state will be providing guidance on how other outdoor recreational businesses, such as driving ranges, outdoor shooting ranges, and paintball courses can safely open their doors in Phase Three.


  • In Phase Three, health clubs, gyms and fitness studios can provide one-on-one personal training in indoor facilities and outdoor fitness classes of up to 10 people.

  • Personal care services, like nail salons, tattoo shops, hair braiders, spas and barbershops, can open with IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits.

  • And all retail stores can open their doors to in-person shopping with IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits in place.

  • Local governments retain the right to establish stricter restrictions in any areas.

  • Further industry-specific guidance will be issued by the state and Illinois Department of Public Health in the days leading up to the transition to Phase Three.


    Governor Pritzker Announces Restore Illinois: A Public Health Approach To Safely Reopen Our State

    Restore Illinois is a Five-Phase, Regional Plan for Saving Lives, Livelihoods, and Safely Reopening Illinois

    Building on data, science, and guidance from public health experts and after consulting with stakeholders across the state, Governor JB Pritzker announced Restore Illinois, a five-phase plan focused on saving lives, livelihood, and safely reopening Illinois.
    ""We have to figure out how to live with COVID-19 until it can be vanquished - and to do so in a way that best supports our residents' health and our healthcare systems, and saves the most lives," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Restore Illinois is a public health plan to safely reintroduce the parts of our lives that have been put on hold in our fight against COVID-19. This is also a data-driven plan that operates on a region-by-region basis, a recognition that reality on the ground looks different in different areas of our state."

    The five-phase plan is guided by public health metrics designed to provide a framework for reopening businesses, education, and recreational activities in each phase. This initial plan can and will be updated as research and science develop and as the potential for effective treatments or vaccines is realized.

    The five-phase plan is based on regional healthcare availability and recognizes the distinct impact COVID-19 has had on different regions of our state as well as regional variations in hospital capacity. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has 11 Emergency Medical Services Regions that have traditionally guided its statewide public health work. For the purposes of Restore Illinois, from those 11, four health regions are established, each with the ability to independently move through a phased approach: Northeast Illinois; North-Central Illinois; Central Illinois; and Southern Illinois.

    The five phases of reopening for each health region are as follows:

    Phase 1 - Rapid Spread: The rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital is high or rapidly increasing. Strict stay at home and social distancing guidelines are put in place and only essential businesses remain open. Every region has experienced this phase once already and could return to it if mitigation efforts are unsuccessful.

    Phase 2 - Flattening: The rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital beds and ICU beds increases at an ever slower rate, moving toward a flat and even a downward trajectory. Non-essential retail stores reopen for curb-side pickup and delivery. Illinoisans are directed to wear a face covering when outside the home, and can begin enjoying additional outdoor activities like golf, boating and fishing while practicing social distancing. To varying degrees, every region is experiencing flattening as of early May.
    Phase 3 - Recovery: The rate of infection among those tested, the number of patients admitted to the hospital, and the number of patients needing ICU beds is stable or declining. Manufacturing, offices, retail, barbershops and salons can reopen to the public with capacity and other limits and safety precautions. All gatherings limited to 10 or fewer people are allowed. Face coverings and social distancing are the norm.

    Phase 4 - Revitalization: The rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital continues to decline. All gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed, restaurants and bars reopen, travel resumes, child care and schools reopen under guidance from the IDPH. Face coverings and social distancing are the norm.

    Phase 5 - Illinois Restored: With a vaccine or highly effective treatment widely available or the elimination of any new cases over a sustained period, the economy fully reopens with safety precautions continuing. Conventions, festivals and large events are permitted, and all businesses, schools, and places of recreation can open with new safety guidance and procedures in place reflecting the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Until COVID-19 is defeated, Restore Illinois recognizes that as health metrics tell us it is safe to move forward, health metrics may also tell us to return to a prior phase. With a vaccine or treatment not yet available, IDPH will be closely monitoring key metrics to immediately identify new growth in cases and hospitalizations to determine whether a return to a prior phase is needed.

    As millions of Illinoisans continue working together by staying at home and following experts' recommendations, the result has been a lower infection rate, lower hospitalizations, and lower number of fatalities than without these measures. As the state's curve begins to flatten, the risk of spread remains, and modeling and data point to a rapid surge in new cases if all mitigation measures are immediately lifted. The governor and his administration continue to urge all Illinois residents to follow the state's stay at home order and to follow the guidance issued by the state and public health experts.
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