Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Illinois, US, plan to lift restrictions on some businesses in most of the state on May 29, and in Chicago, June 3.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Peoria, Illinois
  • Bloomington-Normal, Illinois
  • Decatur, Illinois
  • Moline, Illinois
  • Springfield, Illinois
  • Joliet, Illinois
  • Champaign, Illinois
  • Marion, Illinois
  • Lawrenceville, Illinois

This alert began 28 May 2020 23:56 GMT and is scheduled to expire 08 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Illinois (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

Illinois Governor Jay Robert Pritzker has announced that several business restrictions will be lifted statewide, except in Chicago, starting May 29 as part of Phase 3 of his administration's coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery plan. Similar measures will go into effect in Chicago on June 3.

As part of Phase 3, gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed, and all state parks will reopen. Youth sports teams can resume training, but not competitions. Among the businesses and services allowed to resume operations starting May 29 are:

  • All manufacturing companies
  • Office-based businesses that are not customer-facing
  • Personal care businesses, such as barbershops and hair salons
  • Retail stores (with capacity limits)
  • Health and fitness centers (for outdoor sessions and one-on-one training only)
  • Restaurants and bars (for outdoor sitting, delivery and pickup services only)
  • Outdoor recreation facilities, such as driving ranges and shooting ranges
  • Day camps

Local authorities in Chicago plan to lift restrictions on similar businesses and activities in the city on June 3, but also including hotels and other lodging businesses. Essential businesses, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, fuel stations, essential government services, and companies in the energy, security, transport, and telecommunications industries will remain open. All businesses must enhance sanitation procedures and ensure social distancing measures. Authorities urge residents to wear face coverings when in public.

Transport and business disruptions remain likely. Authorities will probably kee additional security personnel deployed to assist in enforcing the remaining measures. Officials could amend the order in short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Illinois authorities are similar to actions adopted by other governments in the US and globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

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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