Illinois will fully reopen Friday, Pritzker announces

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CHICAGO — Illinois will move to a full reopening, also known as Phase 5, the final phase of the Restore Illinois plan on Friday, June 11, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Thursday.

Starting Friday, the state will eliminate all capacity limits on businesses, large-scale events, conventions, amusement parks, and all other venues.

The state reaches this point as it records the lowest number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, the lowest test positivity rate, and more than 68% of Illinois residents age 18 and over who have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Phase 5 brings with it the reopening the third largest hotel in the city. The Hilton closed its doors 15 months ago but guests will be able to stay there again starting Thursday. Only five floors of the hotel will be used for the soft opening.

This comes as the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association is requesting $75 million of coronavirus relief funds to help Chicago hotels.

The opening is a start to feeling some sense of normalcy since the pandemic began.

Businesses, large-scale events, conventions, amusement parks, and seated-spectator venues as well as bars and restaurants will be able to operate at full capacity for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.

Federal mask mandates will remain in place for public transportation — and other facilities like schools and health care settings.

Some of the city’s larger museums will celebrate the reopening with staying open late Friday night.

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