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Restaurants In Will, Kankakee Counties On Verge Of Resuming Indoor Dining As Move To Tier 1 Expected

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Indoor dining may be back in some Chicago suburbs as Will and Kankakee counties are expected to move to Tier 1.

In Will County some restaurants already have customers inside and spaced out, defying rules, but for those who followed them, they are excited to get customers back.

Khizer Ahmed, owner of Desi Diner, let many workers go as most of his revenue is gone.

"Hundreds of thousands of dollars I've lost this year," he said. "My place's value has gone down. My business value has gone down."

Still, he made a promise to stick only to takeout orders as the state's mandate to shut down indoor dining has been in effect for months.

"Because I don't take any risk for myself for my employees or the customers, too," he said.

Thursday will be the first day in weeks he'll have people inside. The Illinois Department of Health says Region 7, which includes Will and Kankakee counties, is on track to open indoor dining at 25% capacity. The area had to have a decrease in hospitalizations and the positivity rate below 8% for three consecutive days.

"We have to obey it because of this disease. We have to take care of the other people, too," Ahmed said.

It was a tough choice seeing as this restaurant's banquet hall, which seats 100 people, also had to shut down. The owner was tempted to open as those around him have done just that for weeks, with crowd limits and social distance.

Some businesses got a lot of support from the community for flouting the state order.

The Will County Health Department says despite this, they did not issued any citations. If inspectors got a complaint, they would educate about rules and regulations.

The step into Tier 1 also means that bars and restaurants must close by 11 p.m., and any reservations are limited to two hours.

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