The City of Chicago has created a Frequently Asked Questions document to help Chicago’s businesses navigate the new restrictions to combat the rise of Covid-19 in Chicago.
Additionally, the City of Chicago will be holding webinars tomorrow at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm. To register and learn more, visit: chicago.gov/businesseducation.
What are the new mitigation measures? The full list State of Illinois-impose mitigation measures can be found here and include the following:
- No indoor dining or service at bars or restaurants
- Meetings and events limited to 25 guests or 25% capacity, whichever is fewer (both indoors and outdoors)
When do the new Mitigation Measures come into effect? These measures come into effect at 12:01 am on Friday, October 30th.
Is the non-essential business curfew in effect? The City’s non-essential business curfew has been modified to align with the State’s new Mitigation Measures.
Effective Friday, October 30th, at 12:01 am, all non-essential businesses in Chicago must close to the public between the hours of 11:00 pm and 6:00 am.
The sale of alcohol from bars, restaurants and other establishments with a Tavern or Consumption on Premises-Incidental Activity license must also cease at 11:00 pm.
The sale of alcohol from liquor stores, grocery stores and other establishments with a Package Goods license must still end at 9:00 pm.
Can bars and restaurants serve food and drinks at indoor private events? Sale of alcohol for indoor consumption is prohibited unless allowed by the State. According to the State of Illinois guidelines: “Bars and restaurants in mitigation areas are not permitted to have any indoor dining and service, and therefore may not host meetings, events or gatherings within their establishment. Outdoor meetings or special events that otherwise comply with the bar and restaurant guidance are permitted.”
Can bars and restaurants sell food and drinks for takeout, curbside pick-up or delivery? Yes. Businesses with a Retail Food Establishment license may continue to sell food for takeout, curbside pick-up or delivery at all hours.
Businesses with a Consumption on Premises-Incidental Activity License or a Tavern License may sell package goods or cocktails-to-go except for between the hours of 11:00 pm and 6:00 am. Pick-up or delivery of alcohol from such businesses must be completed by 11:00 pm.
Cocktails to-go must be alcohol in sealed and tamper evident containers and cannot be delivered by 3rd Party delivery services.
Can bars and restaurants operate outdoors? Yes. Bars and restaurants can continue operating outdoors except for during the non-essential business curfew hours from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am. Outdoor spaces include rooms with retractable roofs, rooftops and indoor tables that are within eight feet of a wall, provided that the wall is open at least 50%. These establishments should follow the food service and bars guidelines.
Do mitigation measures that restrict indoor dining and service at restaurants and bars apply to movie theaters, bowling alleys and food courts? According to the State of Illinois guidelines: “Indoor concessions at places like movie theaters and bowling alleys may still operate delivery and takeaway service consistent with the Phase 4 restaurant guidance and applicable mitigations.
Customers must consume food or beverage items off site or at their seat, lane etc. provided these areas are also consistent with applicable guidance. Businesses within food courts may remain open for sales and takeaway, however, dining area tables must be rendered out of service or otherwise restricted from use.”
What businesses does the State’s the 25 guest or 25% capacity limit – whichever is fewer (both indoors and outdoors) – apply to? The capacity limit applies to meetings and social events (e.g., including, but not limited to, event venues, weddings, birthday parties, business dinners/ social events, funerals). The capacity limit does not supersede industries that have specified capacity guidelines in place (i.e., fitness clubs, retail stores, personal services, movie theaters, places of worship).
These establishments can still operate at Phase IV capacity (generally, 40%/50 individuals max.). However, a meeting or social event that is outside of normal business operations must be within the State’s 25% capacity / max. 25 individual limit (e.g., a bowling alley hosting a birthday party or museum hosting a book talk).
Are party buses allowed? No. Under the State Mitigation Measures, any charter bus that serves alcohol onboard must cease operations at all times.
What should employees or customers do if they find a business violating these rules? Businesses and employers are encouraged to submit complaints to 3-1-1 of a business violating these rules.
To help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those affected by these mitigation measures, the State of Illinois has created the Business Interruption Grant Program (BIG). This program continues to accept applications, with funds allotted specifically for heavily impacted industries, priority businesses and disproportionately impacted areas. Learn more at illinois.gov/dceo.