As noted in the last my last post, Governor Pritzker’s latest (and previous) stay at home order prohibits recreational motorcycling and driving. In other words, if you’re not on your way to an allowed destination, travel by any means is not allowed.
So what are allowable destinations? The starting point is the latest stay at home order, Order No. 2020-32, issued on April 30 and effective May 1.
As with the prior stay at home order it replaces, Order 2020-32 specifically prohibits travel “by automobile, motorcycle, scooter, bicycle, train, plane, or public transit” except for “Essential Travel” and “Essential Activities.”
So what are Essential Travel and Essential Activities?
The Order defines “Essential Travel” to include the following, as directly quoted from the Order:
- Any travel related to the provision of or access to Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Businesses and Operations, or Minimum Basic Operations.
- Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.
- Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services.
- Travel to return to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction.
- Travel required by law enforcement or court order, including to transport children pursuant to a custody agreement.
- Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the State. Individuals are strongly encouraged to verify that their transportation out of the State remains available and functional prior to commencing such travel.
Most of these are self-explanatory, except for those presented in the first bullet: Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Businesses and Operations, and Minimum Basic Operations.
I will explain these below.
Bear in mind as you read ahead that the Order allows travel to “provide or access” these categories of allowable travel destinations. So you can travel to work and to avail yourself of the activities listed.
Essential Activities include the following allowed travel:
- For health and safety. To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members (including, but not limited to, pets), such as, by way of example only and without limitation, seeking emergency services, obtaining medical supplies or medication, or visiting a health care professional.
- For necessary supplies and services. To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others, such as, by way of example only and without limitation, groceries and food, household consumer products, supplies they need to work from home, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.
- For outdoor activity. To engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements, as defined below, such as, by way of example and without limitation, walking, hiking, running, and biking. Individuals may go to public parks and open outdoor recreation areas, including specific State parks that remain open for certain activities, as designated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Fishing, boating, and golf are permitted only when following the guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). Playgrounds may increase spread of COVID-19, and therefore shall be closed.
- For certain types of work. To perform work providing essential products and services at Essential Businesses or Operations (which, as defined below, includes Healthcare and Public Health Operations, Human Services Operations, Essential Governmental Functions, and Essential Infrastructure) or to otherwise carry out activities specifically permitted in this Executive Order, including Minimum Basic Operations.
- To take care of others. To care for a family member, friend, or pet in another household, and to transport family members, friends, or pets as allowed by this Executive Order.
- To engage in the free exercise of religion. To engage in the free exercise of religion, provided that such exercise must comply with Social Distancing Requirements and the limit on gatherings of more than ten people in keeping with CDC guidelines for the protection of public health. Religious organizations and houses of worship are encouraged to use online or drive-in services to protect the health and safety of their congregants.
Of these enumerated “Essential Activities,” “walking, hiking, running, and biking” are listed under “outdoor activity.”
While the Order states these activities are given “by way of example and without limitation,” each is related to physical exercise; therefore, it should be assumed allowed “outdoor activities” mean those activities undertaken for exercise.
Read literally, therefore, you can travel to go somewhere to walk, hike, run or bike. Common sense says you can also step outside your door and engage in these and similar activities.
(Sometimes, the Order is less than clear and even a bit absurd in its application. For example, travel by bicycle is not allowed unless you’re going to an approved destination, but riding a bicycle is an approved “outdoor activity” to which travel by bicycle is allowed. Read literally, you can’t ride a bike, but you can ride a bike to go ride a bike. And you can ride a bike as an “outdoor activity,” despite the prohibition on traveling by bike.)
In addition, under both the prior and current stay at home orders, individuals have been allowed to travel to “public parks and open outdoor recreation areas.” Playgrounds, however, have been and remain closed, so no travel to, or outdoor activity in, playgrounds is allowed.
Newly added under the category “outdoor activity” as of May 1 are the following activities/destinations:
[S]pecific State parks that remain open for certain activities, as designated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Fishing, boating, and golf are permitted only when following the guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).
So now you can golf, fish, and go boating, and you can travel to these activities as well.
The IDNR now allows the following in open state parks, to which you are now allowed to travel:
- Wildlife observation;
- Equestrian use;
- Fishing (both from the bank and boats with a limit of two persons per boat regardless of the relationship of the people in the boat); and
- Mushroom hunting.
Essential Governmental Functions
Under the stay at home order, Essential Government Functions means:
all services provided by the State or any municipal, township, county, subdivision or agency of government and needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies or to provide for or support the health, safety and welfare of the public, and including contractors performing Essential Government Functions.
So, as laid out in the Order, a person can travel to provide any of these “Essential Governmental Services,” or to access these services.
Essential Businesses and Operations
The Order states the following are “Essential Business and Operations.” Therefore, a person can travel to work in these listed essential business and to access them. This list has been edited. For full details without edits, see Order 2020-32:
- Healthcare and Public Health Operations;
- Human Services Operations;
- Essential Governmental Functions;
- Essential Infrastructure;
- Stores that sell groceries and medicine, including grocery stores, pharmacies, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of groceries;
- Food, beverage, and cannabis production and agriculture, including animal shelters, rescues, shelters, kennels, and adoption facilities;
- Organizations that provide charitable and social services;
- Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities and bicycle shops and related facilities;
- Financial institutions;
- Hardware and supply stores. and greenhouses, garden centers, and nurseries;
- Critical trades (including but not limited to plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, and moving and relocation services;
- Post offices and other businesses that provide shipping and delivery services, and businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, goods or services to end users or through commercial channels;
- Educational institutions, for purposes of facilitating distance learning, performing critical research, or performing essential functions. Educational institutions may allow pick-up of necessary supplies and/or student belongings and dormitory move-out;
- Laundromats, dry cleaners, industrial laundry services, and laundry service providers;
- Restaurants for consumption off-premises. Entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site;
- Businesses that sell, manufacture, or supply products needed for people to work from home;
- Businesses that sell, manufacture, or supply other Essential Businesses and Operations with the support or materials necessary to operate;
- Home-based care and services;
- Residential facilities and shelters;
- Professional services, such as legal services, accounting services, insurance services, real estate services (including appraisal and title services);
- Day care centers for employees exempted by this Executive Order;
- Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries;
- Critical labor union functions;
- Hotels and motels; and
- Funeral services.
Minimum Basic Operations
Again, as provided in the Order, individuals may travel to provide or to access, as appropriate, “Minimum Basic Operations,” which are defined as follows:
- The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s inventory, preserve the condition of the business’s physical plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions;
- The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences;
- For retail stores, fulfilling online and telephonic orders through pick-up outside the store or delivery.