Gov. Pritzker bans dining in at restaurants effective Monday night

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Sunday that bars and restaurants in the state will be temporarily forced to close for dine-in customers as of the end of business Monday.

Restaurants will still be able to offer drive-thru and curbside pickup meals, the governor said.

“I am ordering all bars and restaurants in the state of Illinois to close to the public at the close of business Monday night March 16th through March 30th,” Pritzker said. “We are working with restaurant owners and food delivery services across the state to see if restaurants can safely keep their kitchens open so the restaurants can continue food delivery at their homes. Additionally, we are allowing drive through and curbside pickups over this period.”

Also Sunday, officials said the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state have increased to 93.

Earlier Sunday, Pritzker was on NBC’s Meet The Press and reiterated his concern.

“COVID-19 is spreading because even healthy people can be walking around, giving it to other people. So we need to go on lockdown,” Pritzker said.

Show host Chuck Todd asked if he was going to close bars and restaurants.

“Well, what I’m telling you is that we’ve been on the trajectory now and planning for each of these steps because it’s not easy,” Pritzker said. “You can imagine each one of these decisions has consequences to them that are not just about the pandemic, they’re also about peoples’ livelihoods. So we’re actually looking hard at making that decision today.”

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