Chicago order: If you travel from a surging COVID-19 state, self-quarantine for 14 days

  • Travelers wait at a ticket counter in Terminal 3 at O'Hare International Airport on June 16.

    Travelers wait at a ticket counter in Terminal 3 at O'Hare International Airport on June 16. Associated Press

Updated 7/2/2020 9:34 PM

CHICAGO -- People traveling to Chicago from 15 states with increasing numbers of confirmed cases of the coronavirus will have to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival or face possible fines, city officials announced Thursday.

To comply with the order, travelers must stay at a single home or other dwelling for 14 days except to seek medical care or be tested for COVID-19.


It applies to anyone who arrives here at 12:01 a.m. Monday or later, so Chicagoans who return from holiday trips on Sunday will get a pass, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. If the person was to stay in Chicago less than 14 days, the person must self-quarantine during the whole visit.

As for connecting flights and short road trips, the quarantine order only applies if a person has spent 24 hours or more in one of the flagged states. International travelers aren't affected.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on Twitter that the order is intended to "preserve the gains Chicago had made."

The mayor also noted: "This order only applies to people traveling into Chicago as their final destination from a designated state. It includes both Chicago residents returning from visiting a designated state and travelers arriving in Chicago from a designated state.

"It does not apply to other areas of the state."

The city has reported 52,569 confirmed cases and 2,611 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Both categories have trended down in recent weeks and the city has allowed many businesses to reopen, including bars and restaurants with limits on customers.

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The city's Department of Public Health Commissioner said the specific states listed are based on the rate of new confirmed cases per 100,000 residents.

As of Thursday, that means people coming from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah will be affected.

It wasn't immediately clear how Chicago officials will enforce the order.

According to a website explaining the change, people could face fines of between $100 and $500 per day, totaling up to $7,000.

Chicago will also begin cracking down on Phase 4 guidelines for businesses starting Thursday, ABC 7 Chicago reported.

Officials want to stop huge crowds disregarding capacity limits, social distancing and face coverings seen last weekend.

Businesses in violation could see fines of up to $10,000. Investigators can also immediately close businesses in the case of "egregious violations," the city said.

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