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Illinois Mask Mandate Ends Monday, But Not For All Public Spaces

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Starting Monday in Illinois, masks will no longer be required in most public places -- but you will still need one in certain places.

Masks will not be required in most gyms, restaurants, bars or other public spaces.

However, masks will still be required on public transportation, inside any CPS school, inside health care settings like hospitals, in some congregate settings like nursing homes, and in any private business that requires them at its own discretion. For example, Loop Theatres, run by Broadway in Chicago, and the Lyric Opera are both indoor venues that independently chose to keep their requirements.

The best idea is to plan ahead. Check the social media pages of the business or venue you plan on going to before visiting. It is that business's right to determine its own rules on private property.

As for school outside the Chicago Public Schools system, masks are not required unless the district decides to keep them.

CBS 2's Sabrina Franza spoke with one mom whose daughter is in a CPS high school. She said she is thankful they are keeping them for those students whoa re too young to get the vaccine and who are immunocompromised and because she worries about a new variant down the line.

"What we've learned as we've watched these different coronavirus variants come through is each time the virus mutates, it comes with new capabilities," said Debora Land with Activate Chicago Parents. "Just because the last variant may or may not have been so contagious doesn't mean the next one isn't super contagious."

The state says just about 38% of children 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated across Cook County.

"I think its very likley that when the mandate is lifted, there will be more transmission among adults. And if adults are having more transmission that means that kids are going to be carrying it around."

One place you won't need to masks up or show proof of vaccination is restaurants.

"It's like learning to walk again," said Reese Wilson, manager of Bureau Bar and Restaurant. "It's already starting to turn around. We can see it in our reservations. So with that being lifted, people are already calling about that, so it's just going up, up and up."

It's the best news all year for places that lsot customers because of the vaccine requirement.

"It's just the staff that has worked and run around all day with their mask on, so for them it's like a breath of fresh air, literally," he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rates Cook County's risk level as low, which means, it says, you should wear a mask based on personal preference and personal level of risk.

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