Chicago Reopens for Limited Indoor Dining

Owner Ted Caplaneris reads his copy of a judge's order at The Old Townhouse, a 45-year-old institution in San Diego's Ocean Beach neighborhood on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. A California appeals court has blocked a judge’s order that allowed San Diego County restaurants to resume indoor and outdoor dining. The …
AP Photo/Elliot Spagat

Indoor dining will return on a limited basis in Chicago and suburban Cook County for the first time since last fall.

Service is returning to the city earlier than expected after three consecutive days of a coronavirus positivity rate below eight percent, WGN reported.

The regions first fell below that mark on Thursday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

“Due to recent progress in the fight against COVID-19, Chicago is now operating under Illinois’ Tier 1 mitigations—which includes limited indoor dining and more,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted Saturday:

Despite the latest move to allow indoor dining, there are still some restrictions that restaurants and bars must follow, according to WGN:

  • Restaurants and bars that serve food can operate at 25 percent capacity.
  • Tables must be six feet apart.
  • Four people per table indoors and six people per table outside.
  • Bars and restaurants must close by 11:00 p.m.
  • Indoor dining is limited to two hours.
  • Masks must be worn except while eating or drinking.

Illinois Democrat Gov. JB Pritzker banned indoor dining last fall when coronavirus cases were soaring.

As far as meetings, events, and social gatherings go, events will be limited to 25 guests or less or 25 percent of overall room capacity at both indoor and outdoor events, according to WLS.

Indoor service events must also follow these additional guidelines:

  • Masks must be worn at all times, except when patrons are seated and actively eating or drinking.
  • Four people per indoor table.
  • Patrons must be seated whenever they are eating or drinking.
  • Tables must be six feet apart.
  • Indoor events must end at 11:00 p.m.
  • Household gatherings limited to no more than ten people.

Indoor fitness classes can also resume with 15 people or less or 40 percent capacity, with masks required at all times.

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