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Belleville approves plan for businesses, restaurants to reopen under Phase 3

The city will close three streets downtown to make it easier for social distancing practices to be followed by restaurant and bar customers

BELLEVILLE, Ill. — Many businesses in Illinois will be able to reopen under new guidelines when Phase 3 of the state's "Restore Illinois" goes into affect on May 29.

On Thursday, the City of Belleville approved its own guidelines for businesses to follow, as well as some measures to help out those businesses with social distancing still in place.

The city will close three streets downtown to make it easier for social distancing practices to be followed by restaurant and bar customers.

"Without the extension of the street and the gas light patio, we couldn’t do this," Tavern on Main owner Mark Onsott said. "It just wouldn’t be worth it for six or seven tables, so that was a big deal."

Onsott has spread out his wrought-iron four-top tables to allow for more distancing. They now occupy an open area across the street, and some will soon move into the middle of the closed street.

"We don’t know if we are going to hit a break-even number or not. We are just going to have to find out when we get there. Every day we are going to critique ourselves and what we are doing and try to fix things, put out fires, and make it better and better," Onsott said.

Street closures include:

  • South High Street from Main Street to Washington Avenue
  • South Jackson Street for a portion of the block between Main Street and Washington Avenue
  • North Church Street for a portion of the block from Main Street to the alleyway

Under the resolution, the streets will remain closed for 90 days.

Under Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan, manufacturing, offices, retails, barbershops and salons can open to the public with capacity restrictions and other guidelines in place. Face coverings will still be required when social distancing cannot be performed. Gatherings of 10 people or fewer are allowed.

READ MORE: Here’s what can reopen with Phase 3 in Illinois

Three Belleville offices will reopen to the public on June 1, including City Hall, the Public Services Building, Parks & Recreation and General and Community Assistance.

The Belleville Public Library, however, will remain closed and all parks and rec programming is still suspended.

“We’re very excited to be able to support our local businesses by expanding the dining areas so that these establishments can abide by the required guidelines set by the state,” Mayor Mark Eckert said in a statement. “We encourage our residents to support Belleville and to buy Belleville first, and whether that means by getting out and about some this weekend or still getting carry-out, we appreciate the support of our local businesses. Of course, we all still need to regularly wash our hands, maintain 6 feet of distance and make good choices when it comes to our personal health and safety.”

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