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Chicago eases COVID-19 restriction to allow limited indoor dining

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-01-24 08:01
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People wearing protective face masks walk, as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, along the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois, US, Dec 6, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

CHICAGO - Chicago and suburban Cook County are for the first time open for indoor dining on Saturday since late October of 2020 under COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Chicago Tribune reported on Saturday.

But there is a 25-percent capacity or 25-people per space restriction, whichever is fewer, on restaurants and bars that reopen for indoor service.

According to guidelines released by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker in August of 2020, which still apply now, tables will be limited to no more than four people indoors or six people outdoors; diners must wear a face covering except when eating or drinking, and must put it back on when interacting with servers. The rules also state tables must be spaced 6 feet apart; indoor service will be limited to a maximum of two hours; and bars and restaurants must close by 11 pm

Among other loosened rules, gyms and fitness centers could reopen with 50-percent capacity limits and other public health precautions in place, and indoor and outdoor gatherings can be as large as 25 people or 25-percent capacity, whichever is fewer.

If a region experiences a sustained resurgence of COVID-19, it may return to stricter measures, the local media quoted Illinois health department as saying.

US Midwest state of Illinois temporarily opened indoor dining in Chicago and its suburban areas in the summer of 2020 before closing it again in late October as COVID-19 resurged.

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