Diners who are fully vaccinated in Illinois won't count against restaurant capacity rules

Dennis Lee
·2 min read
exterior of rosebud restaurant in chicago
exterior of rosebud restaurant in chicago

Everyone in Illinois will be fully eligible for vaccination come April, and as you can imagine, people are up and raring to go to restaurants. It’s the number one thing I keep hearing is on people’s post-pandemic wishlists. But as badly as everyone wants to make things “normal” again, this is already a potentially sticky situation. Eater Chicago reports that if you’re a vaccinated diner, then you don’t count against the mandated restrictions of how many people are allowed to dine in a restaurant.

The definition of being vaccinated is a little murky, according to the state of Illinois. The state says, “individuals with proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test (PCR) 1-3 days prior to an event or outing do not count against capacity limits.”

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Some restaurant owners aren’t sure this is a good idea, citing privacy reasons, Crain’s Chicago Business reports. Among them is Alpana Singh, owner of Terra & Vine in suburban Evanston. She says, “I am in certainly no position to look at somebody’s medical records in order to give them meatballs. The sentiment is nice, but I just think the execution is a huge violation of patient privacy.”

Others, like Scott Wiener of the Fifty/50 restaurant group, aren’t confident the rollout of this process is going to go so smoothly. “It’s great that the governor is looking for ways to get businesses back open quicker at a place where people feel safe. I just hope that there’s a way to actually roll it out.”

Ashok Selvam of Eater Chicago suggests the possibility of people presenting fake documents, something I wouldn’t be surprised to see, either. You know what they say about bad apples. Are any of you ready to dine in a restaurant again? I’m not, just yet.