On April 23, 2020, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced he would be extending the state stay-at-home order through May 30, 2020. The new extended order, which goes into effect on May 1, 2020, imposes a number of new restrictions, while lessening others.

New restrictions and requirements

  • Face covering required in public settings: Illinois residents over the age of two who are able to medically tolerate a face covering are required to wear face coverings when in public places where they are unable to maintain 6-foot distancing. Face coverings are also required in public indoor spaces such as stores.
  • Employers must provide employees with face coverings and PPE: Employers that are Essential Businesses and Operations and those engaged in Minimum Basic Operations, as those terms are defined in the order, must provide employees with face coverings and require employees to wear face coverings where maintaining a 6-foot distance is not possible at all times. Additionally, when the circumstances require, employers must provide employees with other personal protective equipment (PPE) in addition to face coverings.
  • Essential stores must provide employees with face coverings and follow additional distancing requirements: Consistent with the new required measure that employers provide face coverings/PPE to employees, retail stores designated as Essential Businesses and Operations under the executive order must provide face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain 6-foot social distancing at all times. They must also, to the greatest extent possible:
    • Limit occupancy at 50% of store capacity or at the occupancy limits set by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity;
    • Set up store aisles to be one-way where practicable and identify the one-way aisles with signage and/or floor markings;
    • Inform customers about social distancing requirements established by the extended order through signs, announcements, and advertisements; and
    • Discontinue the use of reusable bags.
  • Manufacturers must follow social distancing requirements and take other precautions: In addition to following the social distancing requirements set forth in the order, manufacturers that continue to operate must take other appropriate precautions, which may include:
    • Providing face coverings to employees who are unable to maintain 6-foot social distancing at all times;
    • Staggering shifts;
    • Reducing line speeds;
    • Operating only essential lines;
    • Ensuring all spaces where employees may gather allow for social distancing; and
    • Downsizing operations to the extent necessary to allow for social distancing and a safe workplace.
  • Work-from-home encouraged, poster required: All businesses must evaluate which employees are able to work from home, and are encouraged to implement work-from-home arrangements when possible. If employees must physically report to a work-site, employers must post the guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and Office of the Illinois Attorney General regarding workplace safety during the COVID-19 emergency.

Eased restrictions

  • Fulfilling orders is a “Minimum Basic Operation” for retail stores: Fulfilling online and telephonic orders through pick-up outside the store or delivery is now deemed a “Minimum Basic Operation” for retail stores, including those that are non-essential. However, employees must follow social distancing requirements and wear a face covering when they may come within 6 feet of another employee or customer.
  • Free exercise of religion: Engaging in the free exercise of religion is now deemed an Essential Activity for which individuals may leave their residence, so long as they comply with the order’s social distancing requirements and limit on gatherings of more than 10 people. Religious organizations are encouraged to use online or drive-in services.
  • Greenhouses, garden centers, and nurseries added as “Essential Businesses”: Greenhouses, garden centers, and nurseries are now deemed “Essential Businesses” that may continue to operate, consistent with the requirements of the order, including social distancing requirements.
  • Limited reopening of parks and recreational activities: Certain state parks will open for limited use, as designated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Fishing, boating, and golf will also be permitted only if participants follow the guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, which can be found here.
  • Pick up of supplies from educational institutions: Educational institutions may allow and establish procedures for pick-up of necessary supplies and student belongings and dormitory move-out, if conducted in a manner consistent with public health guidelines, including the orders social distancing requirements.

Illinois residents and businesses must continue to abide by the social distancing and other requirements that have been in place since the first stay at home order was issued in March, and which still apply under the new extended order. Illinois employers should contact their Reed Smith Labor and Employment attorneys with any questions regarding the impact of the extended order.