CHICAGO - Illinois is just days away from fully reopening.
Friday is the big day and places are getting ready, such as the hotel industry gearing up for the exciting changes.
The Sheraton Grand Chicago fully reopened Monday after being closed since March of last year. The opening came a few days before the state fully reopens.
"Today we start anew. We reopened our doors to our associates, to our community and our customers," said Mark Lauer, general manager of the Sheraton Grand Chicago.
In addition to the hotel industry, restaurants, conventions, festivals and sporting events – among other things – will all be at 100 percent capacity as the state officially enters Phase 5.
So what does Phase 5 mean? It simply means all sectors of the economy can reopen at full capacity. Still though, businesses – like restaurants – are allowed to require masks or social distancing as they see fit, and local community leaders can create extra mitigations if needed.
Phase 5 also means no more social distancing and health screening requirements in most places.
However, the state is still requiring masks for everyone on public transit, in prisons, in veterans’ homes, and in healthcare settings.
Illinois has reached Phase 5 due to improving COVID-19 metrics and vaccination rates. On Monday, the state reported 244 new coronavirus cases, 14 additional deaths, and 51-percent of the state's adult population is now fully vaccinated.