Severity: Warning Alert

Transportation: Officials in Chicago, Ill., US, amend COVID-19-related travel restrictions Sept. 1. Restrictions in other areas of Illinois increased.

Alert Begins 02 Sep 2020 12:56 AM UTC
Alert Expires 16 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Illinois (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business and travel disruptions

Officials in Chicago, Illinois, amended their travel restrictions list Sept. 1 to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As of Sept. 1, travelers from Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas need to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. However, beginning Sept. 4, travelers from Hawaii, Nebraska, and North Carolina will also need to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in the city. Failing to do so may lead to fines. Authorities in Chicago also maintain additional restrictions; bars, breweries, and taverns may only provide outdoor services. Restaurants may continue offering indoor dining but must limit tables to six people; personal services that require customers to remove protective face coverings must close.

Measures across Illinois remain mostly unchanged, except in Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, and Washington counties, where state officials will increase restrictions starting Sept. 2 due to high COVID-19 activity. Indoor services at bars and restaurants will be banned, and outdoor services must end nightly at 2300, and cannot reopen until after 0600. All customers must make a reservation before arriving. Social gatherings and events, such as weddings and funerals, must be limited to 25-percent of the room maximum capacity or a maximum of 25 people, whichever is less. Gaming centers and casinos may operate at no more than 25-percent capacity and must close at 2300 nightly. These same restrictions will also continue to apply in Will and Kankakee counties.

The rest of the state remains under Phase 4 of its recovery plan. Gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed, and the following businesses, events, and services can operate:


  • Indoor dining at restaurants and bars


  • Office-based businesses


  • Indoor recreation facilities, such as bowling alleys, cinemas, and theaters


  • Gyms and fitness centers


  • Museums and zoos


  • Retail stores


  • Personal care businesses, by reservation only


  • Outdoor spectator events


  • Youth and recreational sports events


  • All outdoor recreational activities


All establishments that operate must comply with strict mandates, including limitations on operating capacity, use of protective face coverings or other personal protective equipment, and enforcement of social distancing guidelines, among other things, to prevent further spread of COVID-19. Such measures may vary by industry or type of business.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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