City of Chicago Business Affairs & Consumer Protection
Effective Friday August 20, 2021, masks are required in all indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status.
Following updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and based on Chicago’s current local COVID-19 data, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is requiring that everyone age two or older, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in public indoor settings. Masking remains optional in outdoor settings, where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is lower, though masks are recommended for unvaccinated individuals in crowded outdoor settings.
Under City of Chicago Public Health Order No. 2021-1, business must post signage indicating that masks are mandated for all customers in indoor settings regardless of vaccination status. Signage is available to download by visiting Chicago.gov/Reopening, under the Resources drop-down menu, then Communication Resources. Chicago’s Phase 5 Guidance is intended for all types of businesses and venues, customers, and employees in order to help maintain healthy environments and operations, as well as lower the risk of COVID-19 spread.
The Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP) hosted educational mask mandate webinars for businesses. The webinars are available to view by visiting YouTube.com/ChicagoBACP. Businesses seeking more information and guidance should visit Chicago.gov/reopening.
While masking is now required in indoor settings, masks can be removed at restaurants, bars and other eating/drinking establishments by patrons when they are actively eating/drinking while stationary; personal services that require the removal of face coverings (e.g., facial, shave); and office working spaces in which individual workstations are spaced at least six feet apart. Masks also remain mandatory on public transportation, in healthcare settings, schools, and correctional and congregate settings.
The new public health order does not include capacity limits at public places. No changes are being made to the requirements for social distancing. Businesses are still generally encouraged to support social distancing to the extent possible for customers, especially in indoor settings.
This requirement does not apply to outdoor settings – masks remain optional outdoors, where COVID-19 transmission is much less likely. As a reminder, outdoor settings include sidewalk cafes, outdoor patios, rooms with retractable roofs, outdoor tents with at least 50% of the sides open and indoor spaces that are within eight feet of walls that are least 50% open.
The best protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant continues to be vaccination, including getting both doses if you get a two-dose vaccine. CDPH strongly urges anyone age 12 and older who isn’t yet vaccinated to get vaccinated right away. Chicago residents should call 312-746-4835 or visit chi.gov/covidvax for help getting a vaccine. We thank all the Chicagoans who have already made the choice to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to help protect themselves, their families, and Chicago.