The entire state of Illinois is headed into Phase 3 of the governor’s recovery plan effective May 29th! What exactly does that mean? Here’s the rundown of the updated protocols for you and the businesses you care about around the state. You can listen to exactly what JB had to say in the video above.

Here’s what the official “Phase 3” guidance looks like:

Gatherings: All gatherings of 10 people or fewer are allowed with this limit subject to change based on latest data & guidance

Travel: Travel should follow IDPH and CDC approved guidance

Health care: All health care providers are open with DPH approved safety guidance

Education and child care: Remote learning in P-12 schools and higher education; Limited child care and summer programs open with IDPH approved safety guidance

Outdoor recreation: State parks open; Activities permitted in groups of 10 or fewer with social distancing


  • Manufacturing: Non-essential manufacturing that can safely operate with social distancing can reopen with IDPH approved safety guidance

  • “Non-essential” businesses: Employees of “non-essential” businesses are allowed to return to work with IDPH approved safety guidance depending upon risk level, tele-work strongly encouraged wherever possible; Employers are encouraged to provide accommodations for COVID-19-vulnerable employees

  • Bars and restaurants: Open for delivery, pickup, and drive through only

  • Personal care services and health clubs: Barbershops and salons open with IDPH approved safety guidance; Health and fitness clubs can provide outdoor classes and one-on-one personal training with IDPH approved safety guidance

  • Retail: Open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance, including face coverings

With that in mind, the governor did clarify a few specific areas for us:

Bars and Restaurants

With Phase 3, bars and restaurants will have the option to resume operations for outdoor seating only. Tables must be six feet apart and away from the sidewalks, masks and distancing measures for staff must continue to be followed, and other precautions and guidance will be issued.
These measures will allow restaurants to re-open at a risk comparable to other outdoor activities, while giving the state’s hospitality industry a much-needed boost.
Municipalities are encouraged to help restaurants and bars expand their outdoor seating options.
To date, the administration has delivered over $14 million in small business grants averaging $20,000 to 699 bars, restaurants, and hotels across 270 individual cities in Illinois.

Outdoor Activities

With the start of phase 3, all state parks will reopen on May 29.  All concession will reopen as well under guidelines set for our retail and food service businesses in Phase 3. Illinois will permit the re-opening of indoor and outdoor tennis facilities with Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) safety precautions and capacity limits.
For golf, in Phase 3, courses can allow foursomes out on the same tee times. Carts will also be permitted with one person per cart, or one immediate household per cart.
With the new ten person gathering limit for all activities in Phase 3, boating or camping with up to ten people will be permitted.
The state will be providing guidance on how other outdoor recreational businesses, such as driving ranges, outdoor shooting ranges, and paintball courses can safely open their doors in Phase 3.

Health Clubs, Retail, and Personal Care Services

In Phase 3, health clubs, gyms, and fitness studios can provide one-on-one personal training in indoor facilities and outdoor fitness classes of up to ten people.
Personal care services, like nail salons, tattoo shops, hair braiders, spas and barbershops, can open with IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits.
And all retail stores can open their doors to in-person shopping with IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits in place.
Local governments retain the right to establish stricter restrictions in any areas.

That means you can finally visit with Grandma and Grandpa again (with recommended social distancing)! That meas you can finally go out and eat again (weather permitting)! That means fat guys like me don’t have to walk the entire golf course again!!! Yay!

Here’s the catch though…if we all go out and start acting irresponsibly and that causes the infection numbers to climb up again, the governor says that he will move us back into Phase 2.


IDPH will closely monitor data and receive on-the-ground feedback from local health departments and regional healthcare councils and will recommend moving back to the previous phase based on the following factors:

  • Sustained rise in positivity rate

  • Sustained increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19 like illness

  • Reduction in hospital capacity threatening surge capabilities

  • Significant outbreak in the region that threatens the health of the region

I can’t tell you what to do, but as for me and my family, we will get out a bit more, visit with friends, all while maintaining social distancing. The last thing we want is to take this step forward only to take another step backward.