BREAKING: All Illinois Bars and Restaurants to Close to Dine-In Thru 3/30

On Sunday afternoon Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced all restaurants and bars in the state must close to dine-in customers through March 30. Monday night, close of business, will be the last call for dine-in food service across the state.

“There are no easy decisions left to make as we address this unprecedented crisis. As your governor I can’t allow the gravity of these decisions from taking the measures that the science and the experts say will keep people safe.” Pritzker said in a news conference.

The move comes as the latest step in helping to slow the spread of the coronavirus across Illinois. Over the weekend, thousands descended upon bars and restaurants in Chicago for the annual St. Patrick's Day weekend festivities, against the recommendation of state health officials.

“I tried earlier this week to appeal to everyone’s good judgement to stay home, to avoid bars, not to congregate in crowds. It’s unfortunate that many people didn’t take that seriously,” Pritzker said. “The time for persuasion and public appeals is over. The time for action is here.”

Health experts say social distancing will help slow the spread of the highly-contagious respiratory virus known as COVID-19.

This story is developing and we will continue to update as necessary.

Source: WGN Chicago