Fully vaccinated people will not count toward capacity limits for various Chicago businesses, including bars, restaurants and activities, beginning Friday.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot cited the loosening of restrictions with an increase in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The announcement comes as the city and Illinois are preparing to enter the “Bridge Phase” in an effort to fully reopen.
The new phase allows for higher capacity limits at events, museums, zoos and other locations.
“Starting tomorrow (5/14), businesses can exempt fully vaccinated individuals from capacity limits across all industries as part of the Bridge Phase of our reopening plan,” Lightfoot tweeted. “Restaurants & bars can also seat parties larger than 10 people if all patrons are fully vaxxed.”
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The vaccine is widely available to Chicago residents, she said.
During the Bridge Phase – the buffer between the current Phase 4 and a full reopening with no capacity limits – restaurants in Chicago can have a 75% capacity with tables six feet apart, compared to the current 50% capacity. Gyms, offices, amusement parks and retail stores will be allowed a 60% capacity under the Bridge Phase.
The Chicago Cubs and White Sox baseball clubs announced Thursday that seating will be at 60% capacity beginning later this month.
Citywide, Chicago has attained a 3.9% positivity rate on a seven-day rolling average.
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Speaking alongside Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, on Monday, Lightfoot said she hopes the city can fully reopen by June 11, the day the state plans to enter phase 5.
“We’re headed in the right direction,” the mayor said. “But everything about this pandemic has to have an asteroid of caution, because of the twists and turns, and as the governor and doctor said, we’ve got to get people vaccinated, so that we can get ahead of these variants.”