Hospitality Industry in Illinois Threatened as COVID-19 Is Not Going Away

Unemployment due to COVID-19 is on the rise. Hundreds of thousands of jobs in the hospitality and leisure industry in Illinois threatened because of additional restrictions.

Unemployment Due to COVID-19 on the Rise

The unemployment claims due to COVID-19 keep rising across the US. Total new claims nationwide due to COVID-19 and the introduced lockdown hit 1,494,670 people.  On the other hand, for the week ending July 18, some 35,938 people in Illinois filed for unemployment, shows recent data by the US Department of Labor.

The recent COVID-19 surges in Illinois place many jobs at risk. Furthermore, it was only last week, when Governor J.B. Pritzker announced that the state plans to reinstate some of the COVID-19 restrictions which were previously lifted. Back then the governor said: “My concern again is all about the health and safety of the people of Illinois.” Those additional restrictions may place some 94,200 jobs within the hospitality and leisure industry at risk. Given that those people were re-hired in April, the industry still remains short with 223,200 jobs which were lost back in February.

Chicago’s Additional Restrictions

Back in mid-March, in Illinois, many entertainment venues, hospitality and leisure workplaces as well as many other businesses were ordered to shut down. The drastic measure was introduced in order to reduce the spread of the respiratory disease COVID-19 in the state. Since then, the state has been reopening many businesses following a phased plan. On July 26, the city of Chicago is entering phase four of this plan.

Looking back at Monday this week, additional restrictions due to COVID-19 were rolled back in Chicago by state officials. Among the restrictions which were re-introduced – bars, taverns and other alcohol serving venues without a Retail Food license will no longer be able to serve customers indoors. Restaurants will continue to operate as long as they follow the existing state regulations for safe post-COVID-19 operations.

On the other hand, restricted groups of maximum of six people can occupy a table at a bar or a restaurant. In addition, gym classes will be restricted to 10 people max. Any personal services such as hairdressers, facials, shaves will be allowed only with face covering such as a mask. The restrictions are in effect as of today, July 24.

Millions of Businesses in the US Affected by COVID-19

Statewide, millions of businesses were affected by the COVID-19 spread. After a few months of suspended operations aiming at reducing the spread of COVID-19, many states gave the greenlight for reopening of the entertainment, hospitality and leisure industry and many other businesses which were affected. But keeping in mind that the disease isn’t going away, surges of positive COVID-19 cases were observed in many US states. This led to rolling back of the measures which were lifted.

All those factors contribute towards the negative impact of COVID-19 on business environment in the US as well as the US economy. Jeremy Farrar, member and president of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) in the UK said that the COVID-19 virus may be around for many years. With that in mind, we can only hope that scientists around the globe will be able to prevent this from happening which will undoubtedly result in a restart for the world’s economy.

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