Champaign Mayor suspends indoor dining at Campustown restaurants, bars through Labor Day

Maize+Mexican+Grill+is+located+at+60+E.+Green+Street+in+Champaign.

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Maize Mexican Grill is located at 60 E. Green Street in Champaign.

By Ethan Simmons, News Editor

Through an emergency order, the City of Champaign will restrict indoor dining at Campustown bars and restaurants to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as thousands of students return to the University campus.

Emergency Order 20-25 begins Wednesday at 5 p.m. for campus bars and Friday at 9 p.m. for campus restaurants.

All on-premise services for these businesses must be done outdoors until Labor Day.

“According to the modeling data provided by University of Illinois researchers, the next several weeks will be critical to making sure the spread of the Coronavirus doesn’t get out of control as students return for the start of the fall semester,” said Champaign Mayor Deb Feinen.

According to the order, customers can still enter Campustown bars and restaurants to place orders, pickup takeout or use the restroom, “but they must wear a mask or face covering when inside the establishment.”

“Bar and restaurant owners may also be allowed to temporarily expand their outdoor service area if certain safety requirements are met,” the City of Champaign said in a news release.

The order was one of two issued on Tuesday. The other, Emergency Order 20-24, says all customers in Champaign bars and restaurants with a liquor license must be seated in order receive and consume their orders starting Wednesday at 5 p.m.

The order also disallows individuals under the age of 21 to enter Champaign bars past 9 p.m. Customers may stand to use the restroom or pick up orders, but they must wear a face covering to do so.

“I realize that these changes will be inconvenient for our residents and businesses, but they are necessary to flatten the curve and prevent a large increase in COVID-19 cases in our community as the fall semester gets underway,” Feinen said.

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