Business News

Updates to Stay at Home Order Including Retail Guidelines

Posted on April 28, 2020

Under the new Stay at Home extension which runs through the end of May, there are important modifications that will come into effect on May 1. These modifications include important new guidelines to protect workers and consumers. Below is an overview of the changes provided by the Business Affairs and Consumer Protections Department (BACP) that will become effective May 1 and will last through the month of May. Please note that these rules are subject to change- please visit www.chicago.gov/coronavirus for updates.


NEW Requirement to Wear Face Coverings

Effective May 1, all individuals over the age of two that can medically tolerate face covering will be required to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when they are:

  • in a public space and unable to maintain a six-foot social distance
  • in any indoor public space.

NEW Categories of Businesses Considered Essential

The following businesses will be considered essential and may re-open beginning May 1:

  • Animal Grooming Services
  • Greenhouses, Garden Centers and Nurseries

These businesses will be added to the full list of essential businesses under the previous Stay at Home Order, which can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions tab at www.chicago.gov/coronavirus. All essential businesses must follow the social distancing requirements outlined in number four below.


NEW Permissible Activities for Non-Essential Businesses

Beginning May 1, retail stores that are not designated as essential may re-open to fulfill online or telephone orders. These orders must be completed through pick-up outside of the store or through delivery. All non-essential businesses engaged in minimum basic activities such as these must follow the social distancing requirements outlined below.


Requirements for all Businesses to Protect Employees and Consumers

Effective May 1, all businesses are required to take the following steps to the greatest extent possible:

  • Provide employees with face coverings
  • Require that employees wear face coverings in circumstances where they are unable to maintain a six-foot distance at all times
  • Where work circumstances require it, provide additional Personal Protective Equipment
  • Evaluate whether employees are able to work from home

This applies to all essential businesses and non-essential businesses that are engaged in minimum basic operations. These requirements are in addition to existing requirements which include:

  • designate six-foot distance
  • have hand sanitizer and sanitizing products available
  • designate separate operating hours for vulnerable populations
  • post online whether a facility is open and how best to reach the facility.

New Requirements for Retail Businesses to Protect Employees and Consumers

In addition to the requirements outlined in Requirements for all Businesses to Protect Employees and Consumers above, all retail businesses are required to take the following steps to the greatest extent possible beginning on May 1:

  • Cap occupancy at 50 percent of store capacity or occupancy limits
  • Set up store aisles to be one-way where practicable
  • Communicate with customers through in-store signage, public service announcements and advertisements about the social distancing requirements
  • Discontinue use of reusable bags

NEW Requirements for Manufacturers to Protect Employees

In addition to the requirements outlined in number four above, all manufacturing businesses are required to take the following steps to the greatest extent possible beginning on May 1:

  • Stagger shifts
  • Reduce line speeds
  • Operate only essential lines, while shutting down non-essential lines
  • Ensure that all spaces where employees may gather, including locker rooms and lunchrooms, allow for social distancing
  • Downsize to the extent necessary to allow for social distancing

Please be advised BACP has been and will continue to enforce the Stay at Home Order. Citations for businesses violating the order, including the social distancing requirements, can range up to $10,000 per offense. The modifications in the new Stay at Home Order are essential to building on the lifesaving progress our State has made over the last month. Thank you for your observance of the Order.


For additional business resources, please visit the LPCC’s COVID-19’s Information and Updates page.

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