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Pritzker Refiles Emergency COVID Rules

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration re-filed an emergency COVID-19 rule similar to one that expired Monday to continue statewide mask and social distancing requirements for Illinoisans for another 150 days.

A rule filed last year before the legislature met in May was repealed by the governor after critics said it criminalized business owners. In August, the governor filed a different emergency rule the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules allowed to stand. The Illinois Department of Public Health on Tuesday said a similar emergency rule was filed Monday.

The rule states, any individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering (a mask or cloth face covering) shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a face covering when in a public place and unable to maintain at least a six-foot social distance,” the rule states. This requirement applies whether in an indoor space, such as a store, or in an outdoor space. The updated emergency rule also prohibits gatherings of more than 50 people. Public and nonpublic schools are to have fewer than 50 people in any one space. Enforcement of the rule will be up to “all local boards of health, health authorities and officers, police officers, sheriffs, and all other officers and employees of the State and any locality.

If a business refuses to comply with a written warning and a subsequent written order to disperse, that business, service, facility or organization open to the public shall be subject to the penalties set forth in Section 8.1 of the Act, and could lead to a Class A misdemeanor with penalties up to $2,500 fine or up to a year in jail.

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