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Face covering enforcement rules and expanded workplace protections for Illinois businesses

As of 8/7/20


On Friday, August 7th, 2020 Governor Pritzker announced face-covering enforcement rules for businesses in Illinois, as well as the signing of Senate Bill 471 to expand workplace protections. 

For full details, view the DCEO's full Press Release.


The following key points have been provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity:

  • These rules are meant to give local governments and agencies more tools at their disposal for enforcing key public health measures - namely for face coverings, which have been a key measure in our statewide effort to prevent new COVID-19 cases.

  • Existing guidelines for businesses remain unchanged for now – this offers the state and local governments multiple steps to help get businesses into compliance.  

  • These new rules for Illinois represent best practices as directed by our public health officials, and mirror what's been adopted in Ohio, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Nevada. New rules also apply to schools.  

  • These are not meant to be punitive measures for businesses or customers - this is simply meant to help local governments and business owners take progressive actions to improve social compliance without resorting to license revocation – which is costly and currently our only option.  

  • New rules go into effect as soon as the week of 8/10/20. These rules enhance and align with the current Phase 4 guidelines under the Restore Illinois framework - which provide safety guidance for business operations and activities at a reduced capacity. 


For Businesses: The rules provide businesses with clear direction on situations where they may intervene if mask-wearing is not occurring in their business. This includes asking clients/customers to put their mask on, and if not, offering to provide a mask for them to wear. For those businesses that are complying with the current Restore IL guidelines and the latest public health directives – you have nothing to worry about.  


For Individuals: Individuals may not be subject to the penalties set forth in this rule. 


Enforcement:  This rule will be enforced by the Department of Public Health, local health departments, and state and local law enforcement. These new procedures provide multiple opportunities for compliance before any penalty is issued. This includes a 3-step progressive process:  

  • Warning – first businesses will be given a warning in the form of written notice and encouraged to voluntarily comply with public health guidance.  

  • Notice to disperse – businesses that do not voluntarily comply will be given an order to have some or all patrons leave premises as needed to comply with health guidance and reduce risks.  

  • Fine –if a business refuses to comply after receiving a warning and a notice to disperse, they face the possibility of a class a misdemeanor, ranging from $75-$2,500 in citation. 

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