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Indoor dining and gym classes: What's coming in Illinois with Phase 4

Restaurants can reopen dining rooms, bars can welcome patrons inside and theaters can resume showings with capacity limits

ILLINOIS, USA — Illinois is set to move into the fourth phase of its Restore Illinois plan, allowing restaurants to welcome diners back inside, gyms to hold indoor classes and groups of 50 people to gather in the state.

All of Illinois is set to begin Phase 4, which the state calls the revitalization phase, Friday, bringing several changes to various businesses across the state.

In Phase 4, all health care and outdoor recreation locations will be open, groups of 50 people can gather and most other businesses will see a further loosening of restrictions.

Workers in all industries should continue to work from home where possible, continue to wear face coverings and frequently wash hands. Additionally, all employers should continue health screenings when employees enter the workplace and again in the middle of a shift when it's longer than five hours.

“We have been gradually restoring business and leisure activities in a highly deliberate manner, guided by doctors’ advice. Illinoisans are following the mitigations that we can each do ourselves, like wearing face coverings, keeping 6 feet distance between us and washing our hands frequently. It’s because of the people of Illinois that we’re seeing a trajectory of relative success where other parts of the country are not,” Gov. Pritzker said.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker gave an update Thursday afternoon on the reopening plan along with the latest information about COVID-19 in the state. You can watch the full briefing below.

Here are some additional guidelines for other businesses that will see changes starting Friday.

Restaurants and bars

One of the biggest changes will be the reopening of dining rooms in restaurants across the state. With the new rules, tables should be 6 feet apart and dining parties should be limited to 10 people. Restaurants can use self-service soda fountains with additional precautions, and buffets and self-service food stations are allowed as long as certain rules are followed.

Bars in the state can begin serving patrons indoors in Phase 4 as well. Parties should be seated 6 feet apart, and standing areas will be allowed 25% of their typical capacity. All shared snacks should be removed.

Both restaurants and bars are asked to use disposable or touchless menus or menus that can be sanitized after each use.

For all the restaurant guidelines, click here.

Gyms and fitness centers

Gyms, which were allowed to reopen with major restrictions as part of Phase 3, will see many of those restrictions loosened.

Phase 4 allows for 50% occupancy and the return of indoor classes of up to 50 people, as long as participants stay 6 feet apart.

Use of shared equipment is allowed as long as the machines are at least 6 feet apart, or 3 feet apart with impermeable barriers in between. Shared equipment should be sanitized after each use, and locker rooms and showers should be sanitized at least every hour.

Martial arts and other contact sports can return if participants are tested before starting the contact exercise, are tested regularly for as long as they continue to participate and only participate in contact exercise with the same group of people.

Saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms should remain closed.

Childcare services at gyms are allowed to reopen if they follow guidelines from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Members should wear masks whenever they are not exercising.

For full gym guidelines, click here.

Theaters and performing arts centers

Theaters and performing arts centers can resume ticketed events like movies, plays, musicals and comedy shows. Tickets can only be sold for 50% of theater capacity.

Theatergoers must wear a mask in any waiting areas or restrooms. When seated in the theater, masks are not required.

Theaters should stagger start times to avoid crowding in lobby areas and allow for social distancing in lobbies.

Cleaning and disinfecting of premises should be conducted in compliance with CDC protocols on a weekly basis.

Any dining areas in the facility should operate under the same rules and guidance as restaurants and bars.

For the full theater guidelines, click here.

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For more information about the other changes in Phase 4, check out the Restore Illinois Phase 4 guidelines website.

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RELATED: University of Illinois announces fall in-person instruction