Whether you live in the suburbs or out of state, if you are planning to travel to Chicago, there are some things you need to know.
While all of Illinois is under a new mask mandate for interior spaces, Chicago has its own mandate as well as a travel advisory in place.
Here’s all you need to know:
Who should wear a mask?
With the city of Chicago reporting nearly 500 new cases of coronavirus per day, health officials have reinstated a mask warrant for all residents aged 2 and older, regardless of a person’s COVID vaccination status.
Where are masks mandatory?
-In all indoor public places, including bars, restaurants, grocery stores, gyms, private clubs and in common areas of condo and multi-residential buildings.
-In public transports
-In health establishments
-In correctional and collective settings
-If you want to watch the Bears at Soldier Field this season, you will need to bring your mask, regardless of your immunization status. The team announced that fans will be required to wear masks in the “indoor areas” of Soldier Field. Masking remains optional outdoors.
Are there any exceptions?
-Masks can be removed while eating or drinking in bars, restaurants or other establishments
-Masks can also be removed during specific activities that require removal, including beard shaving or salon facials.
-Masks can also be removed by employees in places that are not open to the public. Employees in these environments must also be static and must maintain a social distance of at least six feet from all other individuals.
What else should you know?
-Vaccinated people are not required to wear masks outside, but have the option of doing so.
-It is recommended, but not mandatory, for unvaccinated people to wear masks in crowded outdoor environments.
-Capacity limits are not imposed and health officials do not intend to reintroduce these measures, as hospitalizations and deaths remain low.
What happens with the travel advisory?
Every U.S. state is now subject to Chicago’s travel advisory, officials said Wednesday.
States are added to the notice’s “amber list” when COVID measures exceed the threshold of 15 cases per day per 100,000 people. Anyone below that mark is on the “yellow” list, with public health officials still warning against non-essential travel.
Still, health officials have urged unvaccinated people not to travel as cases continue to rise across the country.
“As a reminder, given the current outbreak across the country, unvaccinated Chicagoans should not travel at this time, if possible,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, in a press release. “Getting the vaccine is the most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of COVID-19.”
Depending on the city, before traveling, unvaccinated people should:
- Get tested 3 to 5 days before departure.
- ALL individuals, regardless of immunization status, should wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other public transportation to, within or outside the United States and within the United States. American transportation hubs such as airports and train stations.
- In Chicago, wear a mask in all indoor public places, regardless of immunization status.
- Avoid crowds, try to stay at least 6 feet / 2 meters (about 2 arm’s lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you, and wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
After travel, unvaccinated people should:
- Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and quarantine yourself for a full 7 days.
- Even if your test is negative, stay home and quarantine yourself for 7 days.
- If your test is positive, self-isolate to protect others from infection.
- If you don’t get tested, stay home and quarantine yourself for 10 days after travel.
- Avoid being around people at increased risk of serious illness for 14 days, whether or not you are tested.
The city has advised all travelers to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 and to self-isolate and get tested if they develop any after travel.