Chicago (HINA Wire) – Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that the city is moving today to the Chicago Bridge Phase of its COVID-19 plan. This increases capacity limits across industries.
In addition to a broad loosening of regulations, all businesses will have the opportunity to take advantage of the vaccine exemption beginning today.
The exemption has three components:
- Fully vaccinated individuals do not count towards COVID-19 capacity limits (but 6 feet of social distancing must still be maintained)
- Bars, restaurants and other establishments that allow onsite consumption of food or alcohol can increase table or party size above the limit of 10 if all patrons age 16 and over at a table or within a party are fully vaccinated.
- Late Hour Liquor licensees can operate without hour restrictions if only fully vaccinated patrons are permitted to enter. While all bars and restaurants are allowed to stay open under standard hours in the Chicago Bridge Phase, this will allow Late Hour establishments to stay open until 4 a.m. Monday through Saturday morning, and through 5 a.m. on Sunday morning if all patrons are fully vaccinated.
Businesses that choose to take advantage of the vaccine exemption are responsible for managing their capacity and admission procedures to verify that patrons are fully vaccinated, defined as 14 days following their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
At a minimum, businesses are required to track which customers are under vaccine exemption during their time in the establishment and demonstrate the process to onsite investigators upon request. For a full overview of the vaccine exemption, read this Frequently Asked Questions document.
While the Chicago Bridge Phase represents a broad loosening of regulations, certain regulations remain in place, including the requirement to maintain 6 feet of social distance and to wear face coverings at all times except in limited circumstances, such as when patrons are actively eating or drinking. These regulations apply even to patrons who are fully vaccinated.
To read the full set of rules, click here.