MARSHALL, Ill. (WTHI) - The State of Illinois is officially entering the fourth, of five, phase of reopening. Governor J.B. Pritzker attributes this to the decline of COVID-19 cases statewide.
Some Marshall, Illinois residents said Friday that this truly marks the first step of a return to normalcy.
Phase Four allows up to 5- people to gather at one time. Illinois officials say that this is subject to change based on the latest data and guidance.
K-12 schools, higher education, summer, and daycare programs are now open with proper guidance. Barbershops, salons, health, and fitness clubs are open with capacity limits.
Finally, retail stores, movie theatres, parks, bars, and restaurants are all open with capacity limits as well.
Rudy Montes owns Marshall Family Restaurant. They just opened back up on Friday after being closed for three and a half months. Montes has owned the restaurant for 20 years. When his son broke the news to him back in March that he would have to close his doors, he was completely devastated.
“One of the hardest times in my whole life,” Montes said, “I’ve been doing this all my life, and it was a very hard three and a half months.”
They have limited capacity, but he says it’s a great feeling and they will take the proper precautions to protect their customers.
“It feels really good because I have a lot of bills to pay. It was very hard on me,” Montes said, “I want to respect my customers. If they feel comfortable coming into my place, they are more than welcome.”
Marshall resident Rick Davidson says it feels good to finally get back in the swing of things.
“It’s nice to be getting back into more of a routine,” Davidson said, “It seems like we’ve been a little more confined here in Illinois with Chicago being a hub with COVID.”
Montes says it still remains to be seen how well the restaurant does after the three and a half month-long setback they experienced. He says he’s just happy to have smiling faces back in his restaurant and see gradual steps toward a return to normalcy in Illinois.