As the State of Illinois enters Phase III of its reopening plan, there’s lots of questions about where we can go – when – and why. Here’s some answers.
Many Champaign-Urbana area businesses, including restaurants, retailers, fitness centers and other service providers will begin another phase of reopening to the public starting on May 29. But what that means for all of these resources varies.
We’ve put together a listing of what you need to know about reopening for each of these types of businesses, resources and organizations.
If you’re wondering, “well, reopening sounds great, but how do I know which places are taking this seriously? How do we keep our family safe?” That’s where the Champaign County Safe pledge comes in. Check out this list for businesses and organizations that have taken the safety pledge.
But just because things are reopening doesn’t mean let your guard down, cautioned Julie Pryde, director of the Champaign Urbana Public Health District, in an interview on May 28.
“Champaign County is doing it the right way. I’ve been so impressed with businesses, restaurants, retailers. It looks like it should go really well,” Pryde said. “But as people do go out, we are going to see more cases, as that is the nature of the beast.”
What to know about restaurants reopening: Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul
Regardless of where they are, here’s what we know about what to expect in restaurants in Phase III of the Restore Illinois plan. This phase allows for restaurants to open with outside seating only. Here’s some general rules:
1) Parties may only have six people, max.
2) Depending on the city, hours of the establishments may be more limited than normal.
3) Tables must be six feet apart and away from the sidewalks, masks and distancing measures for staff must continue to be followed.
4) Restaurants are being asked to take at least one name from the party they seat for contact tracing purposes, if necessary.
5) Servers will be wearing masks, and patrons will be asked to wear masks when using restrooms.
6) With limited tables and limited hours, most restaurants are asking patrons not to linger.
We published late last week about Champaign’s plans in the works to help bars and restaurants open maximizing outdoor seating opportunities.
The city will allow restaurants to put outdoor seating in public and private parking lots. Hours for these expanded outdoor cafés will be permitted to operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, but that might change within a few weeks. That includes bars, which typically have a much later curfew. (However, curbside and delivery might be open later).
“We’re just going to all have to take it slowly and things won’t be perfect,” said Champaign Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen. “We’re going to have to meet people where they’re at and not think that everyone will do it at the rate you want it done. We are all one community together.”
The Village of Rantoul will be closing a section of the 100 block of Sangamon to allow for an “outdoor food court.” Beginning on Thursday, May 28, through June 30, the section in front of 113 Sangamon will be closed to “through traffic” for the purposes of establishing an outdoor service area which will be utilized by ET’s Restaurant, and other food and beverage establishments throughout the downtown area. More info on Rantoul’s plans here.
There will be no City of Urbana street closures for outdoor dining purposes, however the city is working with local restaurants to utilize public and private parking lots to expand outdoor dining.
Live music will not be allowed currently, but that might change, said Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin on Thursday. Urbana did not impose the same curfew as Champaign, however.
“Live music is not allowed at this time. But we do intend to consider music in the coming days,” Marlin said on Thursday. “We know how important it is to people and businesses and the creative community. That will be our focus once we get businesses up and ready.”
According to the State of Illinois public health department, all retail stores can reopen to in-person shopping “with IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits in place.”
Here’s just a sample, partial list of Champaign-Urbana retailers that we know will be opening in the coming days. For some, that means Friday; openings will continue as businesses feel they can do so safely. For more information, head over to the Champaign County Rallies group on Facebook (that we moderate along with our friends at You’re Welcome CU and Visit Champaign County.) Visit Champaign County is an excellent resource for up-to-date information about what businesses and restaurants are open.
Heel to Toe, Urbana
Captain Jack’s – Antiques, Collectibles, and Consignment
Larry Kanfer Gallery
Yellow and Co
Geschenk Boutique and Coffee and Tea Haus
We also know that some businesses have decided for various reasons not to reopen anytime soon. Those include the IDEA Store, Jane Addams Bookshop, and Champaign Outdoors. All have online or curbside options.
Also reopening: Illinois State Parks
Camping, boating and concessions are reopening at many Illinois state parks. You can book reservations now for campsites at many Illinois state parks, fish and wildlife areas and recreation areas for stays beginning Friday, May 29.
Gyms and Fitness
Gyms, fitness centers and yoga, dance, cycling, pilates and barre studios can begin to reopen with safety guidance.
Health and fitness services are limited to one-on-one training or outdoor fitness classes with up to 10 participants. Contact activities are prohibited.
Locally, the Stephens Family YMCA is offering outdoor group fitness classes; other classes may follow suit.
(We will continue to add to this resource as information becomes available.)