Phase 3: New Guidelines And Open Businesses

All signs point to Illinois moving into Phase 3 of Governor Pritzker’s ‘Restore Illinois’ plan, which means new guidelines. And just in time, as the weather gets warmer, people are itching to get back into their typical summer rhythm. Although the new normal we face will change the way we typically interact with our environment, Phase 3 plans at least give us a bit of normalcy back. Although the lakefront will remain closed for now, several state parks will open up, along with additional retail businesses opening up as well. This post will go over Phase 3 guidelines and what you can do to continue stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Who’s Open

The big question on everyone’s mind is what stores will be open when we move into Phase 3. So many people are anxious to get into barbershops, salons, restaurants and more. Well, before anyone gets too excited, we all need to remember that health and safety are the priority still. For example, retail business, restaurants, and personal care stores will be at limited capacity, and must enforce the face covering rule. Additionally, bars and restaurants will be open for outdoor dining only, so do not expect to be seated at your favorite booth. 

Other business openings include gyms, fitness centers, and day camps for kids, with safety guidelines of course. For those looking to get back to the gym, one-on-one sessions and outdoor classes of up to 10 people begin under Phase 3. Of course most people do not have a personal trainer, nor do they belong to a fitness class or groups. So those who do their fitness routine on their own time will not be permitted to enter just yet. On the flip side, if you were ever curious about a certain class or wanted to get a little one-on-one training, now would be the time.

What Is Ok And Not Ok

When Phase 3 begins and before you enter a gym or retailer, you should already be wearing a face covering as you would if you entered a grocery store. Although it may be a bit challenging for some to breathe or operate with a face covering on, it is in your best interest as well as others.

Additionally, removing a face covering while inside a retailer or gym would likely get you removed from that space. So, it’s best to either plan on wearing it for the duration or not going until that guideline drops off.

What Could Set Illinois Back

One of the more unfortunate details about the ‘Restore Illinois’ plan is the set back possibility. Yes, we are merely days away from transitioning to Phase 3, but a spike in new cases and/or deaths due to COVID-19 sets us back. We can avoid a set back only if we collectively follow health and safety guidelines. Just days ago Illinois recorded it’s lowest single death total as reported in the Sun-times, which means we could be heading to lower numbers. But even when the numbers are low, we can not get too comfortable or careless Together, we can reach Phase 4 if we continue to wash our hands, wear a face covering, and practice social distancing.  For now, let’s enjoy the amenities coming back, along with state parks and the good weather safely.