Stay-at-home order lifted, Evanston reaches Phase 3


Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune/pool

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker speaks during his daily coronavirus pandemic briefing at the Illinois State Capitol Wednesday, May 20, 2020, in Springfield, Illinois. On Friday, Pritzker announced the state is moving into Phase 3 of his announced “Restore Illinois Plan.”

Jacob Fulton, Assistant City Editor

The state has reached the third stage of the “Restore Illinois Plan” Saturday and the stay-at-home order has been lifted, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday.

Phase 3 permits retail stores, manufacturers and hair salons to open with limited capacity and other safety precautions. The plan was initially unveiled at the beginning of the month.

In Evanston, the city will permit outdoor dining at restaurants, and indoor dining within eight feet of a removable wall, as well as one-on-one personal training and outdoor fitness classes with less than 10 participants. The city also warned businesses that residents may initially be hesitant to visit newly reopened locations in a statement to business owners.

Beaches in Evanston are preparing for a July 1 opening date, but Greenwood Street Beach will remain closed for the season, according to Lawrence Hemingway, the city’s director of parks, recreation and community services. Hemingway said the city will begin selling beach tokens on June 8.

The stay-at-home order, announced at the end of March, was the second statewide order of its kind in the nation. But as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths have consistently decreased over the past few weeks, Pritzker said he is issuing a new executive order that allows the state of Illinois to move to Phase 3, which has fewer restrictions in place.

“The people of Illinois have taken this seriously, and that has made all the difference,” Pritzker said. “In this new phase, the new executive order, called the Community Recovery Order, reflects our new, more open reality.”

Though these restrictions allow for more interactions, Illinois Department of Public Health director Dr. Ngozi Ezike emphasized residents still need to take precautions, like wearing masks in public.

“While some restrictions are lifting, we must still take personal responsibility to continue the reopening — but safely,” Ezike said. “We must continue to keep our distance and wear face coverings.”

The state will continue its ban on evictions, moratorium on utility shut offs and suspension of repossessions of vehicles, Pritzker said, in an effort to continue supporting residents who are experiencing financial stress.

“The significant personal pain that Illinoisians are feeling because of this pandemic does not end with our stay-at-home order,” Pritzker said. “It’s more important than ever to support our working families as we begin our safe recovery.”

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Twitter: @jacobnfulton1

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