CHICAGO (AP) – Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza said she is hopeful outdoor events can return as early as this summer with large indoor events such as conventions and trade shows beginning in the fall.
Speaking during a Senate Tourism and Hospitality Committee hearing, Mendoza said that the return to holding events would be gradual and based on a number of factors, including COVID-19 transmission and vaccination rates.
Some business leaders told the committee that they have been set back by the state’s current cap of 50 people for event gatherings under Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois guidelines.
Phase 5 of the reopening plan would allow for a return of large-scale events with the necessary safety precautions, pending the widespread availability of a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment.
As a result of the federal government moving up projections that a vaccine could be available to the entire population by the end of May, business leaders asked the committee for a “ramp” approach to reopening under Phase 5 to allow events to resume in some capacity as soon as possible.