Officials in Chicago, Illinois, will update their city's travel restrictions list on Oct. 23, and tighten restrictions in some counties, as part of ongoing efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Under the directive, travelers entering Chicago from specific US states and territories must self-quarantine for 14 days; violations are punishable by fines. Effective Oct. 23, no states will be removed from the travel restrictions list, while Colorado, Delaware, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia will be added. The full updated list of states and territories will consist of the following:
- Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming
Statewide, restrictions remain unchanged, however some county-level restrictions have been tightened. Restaurants, gyms, fitness centers, and other businesses are able to operate at 40-percent capacity. Bars, taverns, breweries, and other establishments that serve alcohol for on-premise consumption may open indoor seating at 25-percent capacity or for 50 people, whichever is less. All establishments which serve alcohol must stop serving at 0100 and close at 0130. Persons at restaurants or other dining establishments must wear protective face coverings when not consuming food or drink. Personal care services may also reopen. Indoor gatherings must not exceed six people.
Certain other jurisdictions in Illinois also have local restrictions in effect. In Boone, Carroll, De Kalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, and Winnebago counties, indoor service at bars and restaurants is banned; outdoor service may only operate between 0600-2300 on a reservation-only basis. Social gatherings and events, such as weddings and funerals, are limited to 25 percent of the room's capacity or 25 people, whichever is less. Gaming centers and casinos may operate at no more than 25-percent capacity and must close at 2300 nightly. From Oct. 22, these measures will also apply to Alexander, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, Wabash, Wayne, White, and Williamson counties.
The rest of Illinois remains under Phase 4 of the state's recovery plan. Gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed, and the following businesses, events, and services can operate:
- 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 aimed at preventing the further spread of COVID-19, including limitations on operating capacity, use of protective face coverings or other personal protective equipment, and enforcement of social-distancing guidelines, among other things. 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.