From Phase Four to Bridge Phase: Illinois takes giant step toward full-capacity dining

Local News

Illinois takes one big step forward toward everything going back to full capacity today: It moved out of Phase Four and officially into the Bridge Phase.

It brings Illinois closer to completely reopening the state’s economy and lightens restrictions.

Capacity limits are now 60 percent for gyms, theaters, spectator events, zoos, offices and more.

A big step towards returning to normalcy. Illinois is now in the Bridge Phase ,which allows restaurants and other businesses to move to 60 percent capacity. The only step left after that is Phase Five, which is where everything goes back to full capacity.

Janet Hill, with Rock Island County Health Department, says this is a big step forward, but precautions still need to be taken because COVID-19 is still here.

“We need to continue doing the hard work, getting the vaccination done and then making that personal decision whether you’re going to wear a mask,” Hill said. “That is something that not only protects you, but protects people around you.”   

Pagalo’s Pizzeria and Gelato in Milan is one of many restaurants hit hard by the pandemic. John Hoffman, the owner of Pagalo’s, says the beginning was very rough, but they’ve since recovered and he believes better times are ahead.

“It’s good news to be able to move one step closer to getting back to normal business,” he said. “And being able to seat more people allows us to make a little bit more money and hire some more staff as well.”   

Pagalo’s is currently operating at 50 percent capacity, but they have hired three new staff members this week so Hoffman is hoping to expand capacity soon.

“We’re going to stay 50 percent until we feel comfortable increasing,” he said. “Make sure we have enough staff in place to allow customer service to be where we want it to be and as soon as that happens we will try to open up.”   

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.