Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces new statewide mask policy for bars and restaurants

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a new statewide restaurant and bar policy requiring all patrons to wear a mask while interacting with waitstaff and other employees, when food and beverages are brought to the table and when picking up carryout orders.

Pritzker announced the new requirement on Tuesday, as the state prepares to crack down on bars, restaurants and casinos in Will and Kankakee counties, after that region surpassed a threshold for positivity rate that sends it backward in its reopening. When the rules take effect Wednesday, indoor dining and bar service in the two counties will be suspended, along with an 11 p.m. curfew for those establishments. A stricter gathering size of 25 people will also be imposed.

Pritzker imposed a mask mandate on May 1 requiring people over the age of 2 to wear a mask, if they are medically able to do so, in most public settings where they are unable to maintain 6 feet of distance from others.

Will and Kankakee counties will be the second of the state’s 11 regions to see stricter rules aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus, following the Metro East region last week. But a pair of lawmakers contend that Pritzker’s administration is using a “double standard” in how it’s putting in place the stricter rules.

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