Illinois' new reopening plan could be good news for the hospitality industry and others, including people looking to finally have that wedding they have had to postpone during the last year.
CRAIG WALL: --continue, Rob. I'm being told the governor and his team are still working on details for how phase 4 can be modified, but industry groups and others have been bombarding the governor with suggestions, and vaccinations could be a key.
At Chuck Southern Comfort's Cafe in Darien, the banquet halls have been lonely places this past year, the pandemic putting a hold on things like wedding receptions that, aside from being a time of celebration, can be a big economic boost for the venue. The governor's modifications could allow for more people to gather.
CHUCK PINE: Well, I think, for the banquet hall it's a big deal because right now we can only have 50 people, and there's so many weddings backed up that people want-- they've been putting them off. I've had people that have postponed four times already.
CRAIG WALL: The governor also strongly considering modifications that would allow conventions like the auto show or other conferences that have been canceled during the past year to happen, according to people familiar with the conversations. That would also be a boost for the hotel industry, which has suffered greatly. Several mayors organizations have also been pushing the governor's team to consider adding the regional vaccination rate to the reopening plan metrics.
JOSEPH MARCHESE: Let's say, in DuPage County, we reached 25% of the population that's vaccinated. You'll see a corresponding decrease in the positivity rate. You should see a corresponding decrease in ICU beds that are available.
CRAIG WALL: On Friday, Darien Mayor Joe Marchese formally pitched the idea to the governor's office during a Zoom presentation on behalf of the Metropolitan Mayors Conference.
JOSEPH MARCHESE: They said they were in agreement with us. They said, they're on the same-- they're in the same ballpark as we are.
CRAIG WALL: Chicago's top health official, Dr. Allison Arwady also talking today about how vaccinations will be key to further reopening the economy. The formal announcement from the governor is expected Thursday or Friday. Rob?