Champaign set to relax COVID-19 restrictions on bars, gatherings


Kenyon Edmond

A group of students stand huddled in line outside of Joe’s Brewery on Sept. 17. Effective Friday, Champaign’s bars and restaurants will be able to allow customers to stand and walk around.

By Amrita Bhattacharyya, Interim Editor-in-Chief

The City of Champaign will be relaxing some COVID-19 restrictions as the state of Illinois moves into the Bridge to Phase 5 stage of the Restore Illinois Plan on Friday.

Deborah Feinen, mayor of Champaign, issued amendments to two Emergency Orders Tuesday in anticipation of Illinois moving into this new stage.

Effective at 10 a.m. on Friday, Emergency Order 20-24 Amendment 2 will reduce restrictions on establishments holding City-issued liquor licenses.

Customers at bars and restaurants will be able to stand and walk around, and individuals under 21 years of age will no longer have to leave businesses with a Class A liquor license at 9 p.m.

Effective at noon on Friday, Emergency Order 20-27 Amendment 2 removes restrictions that limited the size of gatherings on campus and in multifamily residential structures. 

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In the Bridge to Phase 5 stage of the plan, there will be higher capacity limits and increased business operations.

Once 50% of residents 16 and older have been vaccinated and either stable or declining COVID-19 metrics are recorded during the 28-day monitoring period, Illinois will transition into Phase 5, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

In Phase 5 of the plan, all sectors of the economy will reopen. Businesses, schools and recreation will resume normal operations with safety guidance. 

Large events can also take place in this phase. 

“The City encourages residents and visitors to continue to take appropriate health and safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” wrote Jeff Hamilton, communications manager for the City of Champaign, in a press release on Tuesday.

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Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated that Illinois is moving into Phase 5 on Friday. However, Illinois will be moving into the Bridge to Phase 5 stage instead. The Daily Illini regrets this error.