New Restrictions Begin for Illinois

Governor JB Pritzker's Tier 3 mitigations take effect Friday, tightening restrictions across the state in the hopes of slowing the deadly spread of the virus.

Posted: Nov 19, 2020 11:00 PM
Updated: Nov 19, 2020 11:45 PM

Friday marks the start of Illinois' latest battle plan to fight off COVID-19.

Governor JB Pritzker's Tier 3 mitigations will tighten restrictions across the state in the hopes of slowing teh deadly spread of the virus. 

"This is a temporary thing that we can do to reduce the spread of this virus in our communities," Governor Pritzker said in his Thursday Coronavirus update. "That will give our healthcare workers some relief and ensure that there will be hospital beds and doctors and nurses available for emergencies."

This means all bars and restaurants will have to close their dining rooms, limit outdoor tables to 6 people and close by 11 pm.

Health and fitness centers, retail and salons must cap their capacities at 25%.

Venues like casinos, museums and theaters will have to close down for the time being.

Though, while more restrictions could mean more problems in an already difficult year, some businesses are sure they can make it through.

"With the changing of guidance and regulations it really isn't going to effect us simply because we have so much square footage," said Jason Johnson, owner of Just Around the Corner, an antique shop in mount carmel.

With 10,000 sqft., he says operating at 25% capacity shouldn't effect business, but he worries that may not be the case for others.

"For the bars and restaurants and other businesses that are being impacted now, I can't wait until they can get back open and doing business again," Johnson said. "I know it's making it much harder and more difficult on them to be able to stay open."

Due to the new restrictions, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced Thursday it will pause all winter sports and activities until early- to- mid-December. 

Here's a full breakdown of the restrictions:


(Including private clubs and country clubs)

  • Must close by 11 p.m. and may open no earlier than 6 a.m. 
  • No indoor service
  • All bar and restaurant patrons should be seated at tables outside
  • No ordering, seating, or congregating at bar (bar stools should be removed)
  • Tables should be 6 feet apart
  • No standing or congregating outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
  • No dancing or standing indoors
  • No tables exceeding 6 people
  • Reservations required for each party
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table
  • Indoor gaming terminals must suspend operations


  • Operate at 25% capacity
  • No indoor group classes
  • Face coverings must be worn at all times, including while engaged in individual exercise regardless of person or machine spacing
  • Reservations required
  • Locker room areas should be closed


  • Operate at 25% capacity, including general merchandise stores, "big box" stores that offer groceries and pharmacy, and convenience stores
  • Grocery stores and pharmacies may operate at up to 50% capacity
  • Encourage delivery or curbside pickup options wherever possible
  • When in-store shopping is necessary, promote efficient trips and consistent circulation
  • Grocery stores across the state will remain open and available, child care facilities can continue to operate and school districts and officials "should continue to follow the extensive guidance released by the Illinois State Board of Education in August to make decisions related to in-person and remote learning at the local level."


(Including Hair Salons, Massage Facilities, Nail Care Facilities)

  • Operate at lesser of 25 clients or 25% capacity
  • Face coverings must be worn at all times by clients and service providers
  • Suspend services where a face covering cannot be worn (e.g. facials, beard trims)
  • Physical, occupational and massage therapy allowed as deemed necessary by a medical provider, but appointments must be spaced by a minimum of 15 minutes and facilities should take steps to sanitize and circulate clean air through service rooms before and after each service
  • Virtual consultations recommended


  • Hotel room occupancy should be limited to registered guests only, with the maximum allowance being the number of individuals permissible per existing fire code for each applicable guest room
  • Fitness centers should be closed, or operated only on a reservation model with capacity limited to 25%
  • Grab and go food allowed
  • Event and meeting space closed


  • Gaming and casinos close
  • Indoor recreation centers, including theaters, performing arts centers and indoor museums and amusement centers close
  • Live streaming of performances encouraged with social distancing of performers and minimum operational staff
  • Outdoor activities allowed at 25% capacity or less
  • Outdoor group activities limited to 10 persons or less, participants/guests must wear face coverings at all times
  • Reservations required for each guest for outdoor activities


  • Pause all indoor group sporting and recreational activities including youth and adult recreational sports, individual training may remain (with facility reservation)
  • Includes park districts and travel leagues
  • Outdoor sports and recreation allowed
  • Participant groups and practices outdoors limited to 10 persons or less with social distancing
  • Face coverings required for all activities at all times
  • Locker rooms should be closed


  • Limit in home gatherings to household members
  • Meeting rooms, banquet centers, private party rooms, private clubs and country clubs may not host gatherings
  • No party buses
  • Funerals are limited to 10 family members of the decedents, not including staff


  • All employees should work from home if possible


  • Additional COVID-19 training for all employees required even if previous training occurred
  • Operators should coordinate with IDPH to implement testing protocols and contact tracing, upon request, consistent with available testing supplies
  • All employees must wear face coverings at all times unless eating or drinking. Exemptions only for safety purposes.
  • Only manufacturing staff and key personnel allowed in facilities. Non-production employees must work remotely. Non-essential staff and visitors are not permitted. Exemptions only for critical equipment repairs, supply deliveries and safety reasons (“critical visitors”).
  • All critical visitors must have an Employee Health and Safety (EHS)-approved risk-assessment done in advance, including travel history, tracking, and temperature check prior to entrance.
  • Implement additional workstation realignment when feasible
  • Stagger and space shifts, and designate shift entrances and exits when possible to minimize interactions of employees across unique shift groupings
  • Station sanitation required at beginning and ending of shifts
  • Operators must suspend COVID-19-related incentive pay and promote staying home when sick or showing symptoms
  • Implement temporary leave policies to accommodate workers who are sick
  • Develop and implement safety protocols for employee travel vans to promote spacing, require face coverings, temperature checks, air circulation and vehicle sanitization


The state's health department said officials will track metrics over the next 14 days to determine "if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigations should remain in place."

In order for a region to move back to Tier 2 mitigations, it must see a seven-day test positivity average below 12% for three consecutive days, more than 20% availability for intensive care units and hospital beds for three consecutive days and a decline in seven-day hospitalization average for at least seven days.

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Hi: 46° Lo: 27°
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Hi: 42° Lo: 26°
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It was another cool, though overall pleasant day across the Tri-State - after only seeing temperatures dive as low as 22° early this morning, peak temperatures ended up climbing a few degrees higher than Thursday's; that being said, Evansville’s high temperature of 27° Was still 15° below average for this time of the year. As for the evening ahead, temperatures will gradually fall for 23° around dinner time back down to 19° by10 PM. A weak northerly wind flow most of the night paired with our crystal clear skies will cause temperatures to of fall back down into the mid to low teens once again - Evansville's anticipated low temperature of 12° will mark or coolest since the morning of January 7th.
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