State Releases Guidelines for Outdoor Dining during Phase 3

by Max Lapthorne

On May 24, Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity released guidelines for the reopening of outdoor dining across the state during Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan.

During Phase 3, services will be limited to outdoor dining/drinking only and parties of 6 people or fewer. For the purposes of these guidelines, a dining or drinking area is considered an outdoor dining or drinking area if the area meets any of the following criteria:

  1. Located on the rooftop of a building or within establishment with retractable roof (should remain open during hours of operation of outdoor dining and/or drinking).
  2. Outdoor space connected to or located on the site of a restaurant, grocery store, health or fitness center, hotel, golf club, or other social club with a food establishment license.
  3. Indoor space where 50% or more of a wall can be removed via the opening of windows, doors, or panels provided that dining tables are within 8-ft from such opening.
  4. Any other outdoor dining and drinking areas authorized by local governments provided that food and drinks are prepared by licensed food or liquor establishments and that proper social distancing of 6-ft between designated customer tables and/or other seating areas is observed and parties are of 6 persons or fewer.

A state of Illinois Phase 3 reopening toolkit for restaurants and bars is also available. The toolkit includes:

Operators must also look to their local municipalities and health departments for further guidance. If you have any questions about these latest industry updates, please email us at or

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