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Chicago to Open Indoor Dining for Restaurants, Bars

Carly Behm | The PhoenixRestaurants and bars in Chicago will soon be allowed to offer indoor services to a maximum of 25 people.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced Jan. 22 Chicago is expected to lift some restrictions on businesses, such as restaurants and bars, as the region continues to see a lowered COVID-19 positivity rate.

Statewide, Illinois saw 7,042 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 95 deaths Jan. 22, according to the IDPH

The city’s restaurants and bars have been closed for indoor dining and drinking since Oct. 30, when Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced restrictions meant to curb the rapidly rising number of COVID-19 cases, The Phoenix reported

Chicago is allowed to offer limited indoor drinking and dining after seeing at least three consecutive days of a COVID-19 positivity rate between 6.5 percent and 8 percent, according to IDPH guidelines. The city’s positivity rate has been below 8 percent since Jan. 18, according to IDPH data

Under the loosened restrictions, businesses serving food can offer indoor services, limited to either 25 percent capacity or 25 individuals — whichever is a lesser number — according to IDPH guidelines

The IDPH requires businesses to close at 11 p.m., space tables at least six feet apart and limit tables to only parties of four. Customers must make reservations ahead of time and are allowed a maximum of two hours to dine. 

In order to lessen restrictions even further, Chicago needs at least three consecutive days of a COVID-19 positivity rate below 6.5 percent, according to the IDPH.

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