Gov. Pritzker announces new rules for businesses regarding face masks

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CHICAGO, Ill (WEHT) In a morning press conference, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced new protections for frontline workers, and new rules and guidelines for enforcing face masks and following social distancing guidelines.

Gov. Pritzker says the new emergency rules for law enforcement and local health departments provide flexibility for local communities and a measure process to keep people safe. The guidelines are:

  • 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. 

These rules do not apply to individuals and penalties will not exceed a misdemeanor and a $75-$2,500 fine.   

Gov. Pritzker also signed SB 471 which expands workplace protections. The law adds a penalty for assaulting or battering a retail worker who is conveying public health guidance, such as requiring patrons to wear face-coverings or promoting social distancing.  The law also increases paid disability leave for any injury that occurs after March 9, 2020 by 60 days for firefighters, law enforcement and paramedics whose recovery was hindered by COVID-19. 

More specifically, eligible employees include: 

  • Any part-time or full-time State correctional officer or any other full or part-time employee of the Department of Corrections 
  • Any full or part-time employee of the Prisoner Review Board 
  • Any full or part-time employee of the Department of Human Services working within a penal institution or a State mental health or developmental disabilities facility operated by the Department of Human Services 
  • Any full-time law enforcement officer or full-time firefighter 

SB 471 takes effect immediately.  

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(This story was originally published on Aug. 7, 2020)

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