FAQ regarding bars and restaurants during COVID-19 pandemic
How long will the restaurant and bar closure last?
On-site consumption at restaurants and bars is currently scheduled to be closed starting at 9pm on Monday, March 16th through Monday, March 30th. We will continue to evaluate this timeline as we move forward and announce any updates as soon as we have them. Delivery, drive-through, carryout and curbside pickup will continue to be allowed at all restaurants able to provide these services.
Does the ban include movie theaters? What about cafes at grocery stores and other entertainment venues, such as ice rinks?
The Executive Order prohibits gatherings of 50 people or more in places including fitness centers/health clubs, bowling alleys, private clubs, and theaters. However, it does not impact establishments that provide essential goods and services, including grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, gas stations, banks/credit unions, shelters, and other establishments that provide essential services. The administration continues to evaluate other non-essential venues that could lead to the congregation of larger crowds.
Does the ban include restaurants/concessions at airports?
Retailers located in airports, hospitals, and dining halls in colleges and universities are exempt from the requirements of the Executive Order 2020-07.
What about small, family owned restaurants that don’t have delivery or take-out capability?
The administration is working directly with delivery service providers like Uber Eats, Grubhub and Postmates to help smaller restaurants put in place delivery options. U.S. Small Business Administration (USBA) is also offering loans for businesses impacted by coronavirus. For more information on the loans, visit the USBA website here.
Are catered events allowed?
Yes, however large gatherings are strongly discouraged and events with 50 or more people are banned. Unless absolutely necessary, the best course of action is to stay at home and avoid large crowds to prevent further spread of coronavirus.
Are patrons allowed to enter the restaurant to pick-up food and/or order and then leave?
Patrons are strongly encouraged to utilize drive-throughs and pick-up pre-ordered food curbside if available at the restaurant. In addition, customers may enter the premises to purchase food or beverages for carry-out. Establishments offering food or beverages for carry-out, including food trucks, must ensure that they have an environment where patrons maintain adequate social distancing
What time is end-of-business on Monday for bars and restaurants? Some bars are open till 2am. Can they stay open till then or do they need to close at midnight?
All restaurants and bars must close for on-site consumption by 9pm CST on Monday, March 16th.
Are coffee shops closed?
The same rules that apply to bars and restaurants also apply to coffee shops.
Are delivery fees going to be really high?
Delivery fees are determined by each individual company. The administration will not tolerate price gouging of any kind and all incidents should be immediately reported to the Illinois Attorney General online here.
Is the state working with delivery companies to set pricing?
No, delivery fees are determined by individual companies, but we are working closely with the companies to ensure their services are as accessible to small businesses as possible.
Will I qualify for unemployment benefits since my restaurant is closed?
The administration has worked to expand unemployment insurance to cover individuals who are unable to work due to COVID-19. For more information on unemployment insurance, go to the Illinois Department of Employment Security website here.
How can I make sure my food delivery isn’t contaminated?
Restaurants and their delivery partners should continue to follow best practices when it comes to transporting food including placing deliveries in secure, sealed containers. Patrons should double check their delivery is sealed upon arrival and report any opened packaging directly to the restaurant. Patrons should also be following CDC guidelines regarding thorough and regular handwashing, particularly before and after eating.
What safety measures are being implemented at restaurants providing meals via drive-throughs and curb-side pick-up? Are there state mandated measures?
Restaurants operating in Illinois are monitored by the Illinois Department of Public Health to ensure they are following mandated safety measures. Those measures are applicable and enforceable even if restaurants are only doing business via drive-through or curb-side pick-up.
Can I still get groceries delivered?
Yes, you may still have groceries delivered. There have been no executive orders impacting grocery delivery.