Customers are slated to be allowed back inside restaurants and many bars in Chicago and suburban Cook County beginning Saturday, Jan. 23, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The city and Cook County will move from Tier 2 to Tier 1 of Gov. JB Pritzker's COVID-19 mitigation plan as long as "metrics continue to improve or are stable," the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Jan. 22.
Tier 1 mitigations allow restaurants and bars that serve food to seat customers inside up to 25% capacity or 25 people per room, whichever is less. Bars that don't serve food still aren't allowed to invite patrons inside unless they partner with a restaurant to deliver, under city regulations.
Pritzker added a note of caution, though: "The risk of a resurgence in Illinois, particularly with extremely contagious new variants, is serious. Our ability to have limited indoor restaurant service and to restart youth sports could be cut short if we aren't extremely careful."
In late October, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot limited the city bars and restaurants to outdoor service and takeout amidst the state's record-breaking fall resurgence. Pritzker postponed indoor service statewide in mid-November.