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Full reopening starts Friday: Illinois enters Phase 5 nearly 15 months after shutdowns

CHICAGO — After nearly 15 months of shutdowns, limited capacity and sheltering at home, the State of Illinois, including Chicago, will fully reopen on Friday.

Businesses still can have their own rules for capacity, masks and social distancing. Masks are still required on public transportation and in airports, schools and hospitals.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday that “as we take this next step forward, let’s do so with a renewed commitment to empathy, to community, and to making each day together count.”

State health officials say more than 68% of Illinois residents who are 18 or older have received at least one dose of vaccine against the coronavirus, and 51% of adults are fully vaccinated.

Upon entering Phase 5, fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations — including local business and workplace guidance.

Illinois will continue to recommend masking for unvaccinated persons, and require it for all people while traveling on public transportation, in congregate settings, in health care settings, as well as in schools, day cares, and educational institutions pursuant to the Illinois Department of Public Health and CDC guidance.

Businesses and local municipalities can put in place additional mitigations as they deem appropriate.

Phase 5 marks the return of traditional conventions, festivals, and large events without capacity restrictions. It also removes requirements that businesses institute mandatory social distancing in seated venues, as well as daily health screenings of employees and visitors.

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