Bridge to Phase 5 guidelines for re-opening business and returning people to work
As more of our residents receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Illinois will operate with a metrics-based pathway toward the fifth and final phase of the Restore Illinois reopening plan, in which all sectors of the economy reopen with businesses and recreation resuming normal operations, and where conventions, festivals, and large events can take place.
Following recommendations from public health experts, Illinois will move forward with a dial-like approach between the mitigations in Phase 4, which currently apply to the entire state, and the post-pandemic new normal of Phase 5. This Bridge to Phase 5 will allow for higher capacity limits and increased business operations, before public health experts tell us it is safe to move to the new normal that Phase 5 will bring.
Like the prior evidenced-based approaches to deliberately lift mitigations that have kept us safe and saved lives, this gradual path to Phase 5 will protect the progress we’ve made while allowing us to reopen the economy.
Once 70% of residents 65 and older have been vaccinated and barring any reversals in our COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths for a 28-day monitoring period, the Bridge to Phase 5 will begin with increased capacity limits in both indoor and outdoor settings. Once 50% of residents 16 and older have been vaccinated and stable or declining COVID-19 metrics are recorded during a 28-day monitoring period, Phase 5 will be implemented, removing capacity limits altogether. All regions of the state will move through these next phases together based on statewide metrics.
While regulations are rolled back gradually, Illinoisans should continue following the public health guidelines that have kept us safe during the pandemic, like wearing a mask in public and social distancing.
Additionally, this updated guidance establishes new capacity limits for settings determined by risk level. In an update to current Phase 4 mitigations, individuals with proof of full vaccination — defined as 14 days after receiving a final vaccine dose — or a negative COVID-19 test (PCR) 1-3 days prior to an event do not count against capacity limits. Following the latest studies on virus transmission, lower risk activities that were either not permitted or allowed at a lower capacity have been expanded in Phase 4.