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Monday, August 17, 2020

Even the Strip Clubs Are Limiting Their Hours As Illinois Rolls Out New COVID Restrictions

Posted By on Mon, Aug 17, 2020 at 5:40 PM

St. Louisans, your days of heading to the east side for a party in coronavirus times might be over.

Illinois used to be the place where you escape conservative Missouri and enjoy all of the treats the Land of Lincoln has to offer (Strip clubs! 24-hour bars! Marijuana dispensaries!) but now it will have even more rules than your home state, because COVID-19 is the ultimate wet blanket.



Illinois coronavirus tests reached an 8% positivity rate for three days in a row, which has triggered mitigation restrictions to help curb the spread of the virus.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I have made it clear that neither arbitrary dates on a calendar nor political pressure can change the facts and the science that will determine what efforts Illinois should make to protect our people, and I mean all of our people,” said Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker in a press conference today. “If the data shows that the virus is spreading, I won’t hesitate to tighten restrictions to protect our communities. I’ve said that all along. Your health and safety is my paramount concern.”

Starting tomorrow, the southwestern part of Illinois, including the metro east, will be under new rules to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the new restrictions include:

Bars:
  • All bars close at 11:00pm (matching new closing time at bars in St. Louis)
  • No ordering, seating, or congregating at bar (bar stools should be removed)
  • All bar patrons should be seated at tables inside and outside
  • All indoor tables should be reduced to 6 persons or less
  • Tables should be 6 feet apart
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
  • No dancing or standing indoors
  • Reservations required for each party

Restaurants:
  • All restaurants close at 11:00pm (matching new closing time at bars in St. Louis)
  • All indoor tables should be reduced to 6 people or less
  • Tables should be 6 feet apart
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
  • Reservations required for each party
  • If the restaurant also has a bar, the rules for bars apply

Meetings, social events and gatherings:
  • Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25 percent of overall room capacity
  • All reception halls closed
  • No party buses
  • Gaming and Casinos close at 11:00pm and are limited to 25 percent capacity

Governor Pritzker said that mitigation measures will be removed once positive tests cases hit 6.5% or lower again, but until then he called on all Missourians to join in taking action while warning that Illinois could be just a step away from “additional mitigation” if things don’t turn around in the next two weeks. He added that he might be forced to close restaurants and bars entirely if things don’t change quickly.

“If you haven’t been taking this seriously yet,” Governor Pritzker said, “now is the time to start.”

So if you’re horny and wanting to hit the strip club, maybe wait a few weeks, huh? Blue balls won’t kill you, no matter what your friend said in seventh grade.

Email the author at jaime.lees@riverfronttimes.com
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