Today Governor Pritzker announced that as regions of the state enter phrase 3 of his Restore Illinois reopening plan, restaurants and bars will be able to expand their operations with limited outdoor seating and additional safety measures. Under the original structure of his reopening plan, restaurants and bars were not able to reopen until phase 4. State Representative Mike Murphy (R-Springfield) called the move a step in the direction but said more action is still needed.
“Restaurants are one of the largest small business industries in our state,” said Murphy. “While I am glad to see the Governor somewhat recognize the incredible work the industry has been doing to safely reopen beyond just takeout or curbside pick-up by allowing outdoor seating in phase 3 of his reopening plan, this is only a small step in the right direction. 20% of the industry is in danger if more is not done, and with the restaurants lost, so too goes the livelihoods of not only the owners but the thousands upon thousands of jobs for those who work in the industry.”
In his announcement, the Governor said bars and restaurants would be allowed to have outdoor seating with table’s six-feet apart, masks and other safety precautions in place.
Murphy noted he still wants to see the legislature take action on a more targeted regionally focused reopening plan now that the General Assembly has returned to session, but none-the-less welcomes this positive news in the near-term.