What Does Phase 5 Mean for Chicago Families?

Illinois and Chicago are fully reopened! Here are some guidelines to keep in mind.

Since Spring 2020, the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago fully reopened on June 11, 2021. You might have noticed more families out, face mask requirements relaxed and Chicagoland looking a bit livelier with summer around the corner. 

Almost 52 percent of Illinoisans ages 12 and older are fully vaccinated and nearly 60 percent have received at least one dose, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Kids ages 12 and younger are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

As we make our summer plans, not all restrictions have been lifted to protect others from COVID-19. Here’s a quick look on what Chicagoland families can expect in Phase 5.

What’s changed for Phase 5?

There are no capacity limits for restaurants, gyms, attractions and other venues. Large events can also return, including conventions and festivals without any capacity limits. It is still recommended to practice social distance measures when needed.  

In Chicago, the travel order no longer requires those arriving or returning to Chicago to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test. The city of Chicago advises to delay travel until fully vaccinated.  

Do you still have to wear face masks?

Fully vaccinated people are not required to wear face masks except for certain instances. Face masks will still be required in the following settings:

  • On public transportation, planes, buses and transportation hubs (train and bus stations).
  • Congregate facilities and health care settings
  • Schools, day cares and other educational might still requiring face masks based on the state guidelines from IDPH, the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

For unvaccinated individuals, it is still recommended to wear a face mask covering the mouth and nose based on CDC guidelines, especially indoors. Some businesses and museums might also still require face mask so it’s best to call ahead before visiting. 

What about my younger kids who haven’t received the vaccine yet?

Parents might be worried about keeping children ages 12 and younger who have not received the vaccine safe. Here are some tips to keep in mind when planning summer activities:

  • Avoid crowds when possible.
  • Continue to wear face masks and follow local guidelines when traveling.
  • Try to keep social circles small.
  • Take advantage of outdoor seating at restaurants.
  • Check COVID-19 guidelines with summer camps.

Looking for more tips to help keep unvaccinated kids safe? Read our story on how to plan activities with unvaccinated kids in mind.

Should my family still get vaccinated?

For individuals ages 12 and older, it is still strongly recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC recommends that anyone fully vaccinated can resume activities that they did prior to the pandemic. 

Can we go back a phase?

While COVID-19 cases remain low in Illinois, IDPH will continue to monitor any rise in positivity rate or hospital admissions for COVID-19. Any significant increases or outbreak might lead the state and city of Chicago to move back a phase.

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