Governor announces new mask enforcement for businesses

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced new mask rules for businesses, schools and child care establishments on Friday.

“This is a make or break moment for the state of Illinois, for making sure people are doing everything they can to mitigate to reduce the spread. And so this is a moment for us to enforce the masking requirements across the state,” Pritzker said.

The new rules will provide multiple opportunities for compliance before any penalty is issued and does not apply to individuals.

That process is as follows:

First, businesses will be given a warning in the form of written notice and encouraged to voluntarily comply with public health guidance.

Second, businesses that do not voluntarily comply will be given an order to have some or all of their patrons leave the premises as needed to comply with public health guidance and reduce risks.

Third, if the business continues to refuse to comply, the business can receive a class A misdemeanor and be subject to a fine ranging from $75-$2,500.

“We know that face coverings are key to helping prevent the spread of COVID-19, but it only works if everyone wears them,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. “We are seeing cases increasing each day and hearing about people not complying with the masking mandate. This rule is an effort to help keep all of us healthy and decrease the risk of contracting COVID-19.”

The rules also reinforce IDPH and local health authorities to investigate COVID-19 cases.

“The vast majority of communities and business owners have done the right thing and followed the public health guidance. These rules will help that the minority of people that refuse to act responsibly wont take our state backward,” Pritzker said.