Gov. J.B. Pritzker has slashed retailer capacity limits across the state, hoping the new Covid restrictions will help avoid another lockdown.
Starting Friday, retail store capacity will be cut to 25 percent, down from 50 percent, according to the Chicago Tribune. While a 50 percent capacity limit will remain for grocery stores and pharmacies, big-box retailers such as Walmart and Target will be subject to the lower percentage, according to the report.
Gyms and fitness centers will also have to abide by the new limit. They must cancel indoor group classes, close locker rooms and require reservations for guests.
Performing arts centers, museums, bowling alleys and movie theaters will be closed entirely.
“We will continue to see a rise in both hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19 for weeks ahead because of the infections that have already happened,” Pritzker said at his daily coronavirus briefing. “But we can change our longer-term outcome. We can save potentially thousands of lives in the next few months if we make changes right now to stop this in its tracks.”
Last month, Pritzker sparred with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot over tougher planned restrictions to combat the rising number of positive cases. The mayor worried those measures would devastate the city’s economy.