Latest Guidance

Holiday Gatherings Guidance

  • The COVID-19 vaccines are by far the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the virus, and anyone who isn’t vaccinated should get one as soon as possible to be protected for the holidays. That includes children age 5-11 who are now eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, and teens age 16-17 who are now eligible for a Pfizer booster. 
  • The indoor mask mandate for public settings remains in effect for Chicago and Illinois. While this applies in public settings, if you are gathering with people outside your immediate circle or with people who are medically fragile, you should consider wearing a mask. 
  • If you are not fully vaccinated you should consider not attending gatherings over the holidays. If you plan to do so, we encourage you to take a COVID test before the gathering, as well as mask and social distance when possible. 
  • Even if you are vaccinated, consider a COVID-19 test (either through a healthcare provider or at home) before gathering, and encourage guests to do the same before indoor holiday gatherings. Tests can help protect unvaccinated children, older individuals, those who are immunocompromised, or individuals at risk of severe disease. Find a testing site at
  • If you are sick or experiencing any COVID- or flu-like symptoms you should NOT attend any gatherings, even if you are vaccinated. 
  • Those attending church services should follow the indoor mask mandate. Churches are encouraged to promote social distancing among parishioners as they are able. 
  • These guidelines are in place to ensure safety among families during the Holidays. Do your part, and encourage others to protect themselves and their loved ones by getting vaccinated. To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and booster doses, visit  

Travel guidance 

  • People should delay travel until fully vaccinated wherever possible, wear a mask during travel and attempt to remain distanced from others when possible. 
  • The CDC recommends people do not travel if they are sick, if they have tested positive for COVID-19 and haven’t ended isolation (even if fully vaccinated), or if they have been exposed to COVID-19 (unless fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days).
  • In addition, the CDC currently recommends all people traveling into the US are tested no more than one day prior to departure and again 3-5 days after arriving in the US. 
  • Under the City’s Travel Advisory, unvaccinated travelers should be tested for COVID-19 before and after travel from any state on the advisory list and should quarantine upon arrival in Chicago. For domestic travel, the quarantine and testing recommendations do not apply to fully vaccinated travelers. 

For additional information, the latest CDC Holiday Celebrations Guidance details the safest ways to celebrate the holidays.


Large Gatherings:

Under the Restore Illinois framework for Phase 5, large-scale events are allowed to operate at full capacity. Effective January 3, 2022 any individual age 5 and older will be required to show proof of vaccination to dine indoors, visit gyms, or enjoy entertainment venues where food or drink are being served. Effective August 20, 2021, masks are required in all public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. For more information please see the City Of Chicago's Large Scale Events Guidelines.


Businesses and Employers need to consider how best to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and lower the impact in their workplace.  For more information, see Chicago’s industry-specific guidelines for safely operating.

Employers should not require a sick employee to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or healthcare provider’s note to return to work. Employees with COVID-19 who have stayed home can stop home isolation and return to work when they have met the the following sets of criteria:

  • 10 days have passed since symptoms started (or since positive test if never had symptoms)
  • No fever for 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medication, and
  • Symptoms are improving

We encourage you to use and share the following resources:

Congregate Living Facilities should implement universal masking policy and enhanced environmental cleaning. For more information, see CDPH Guidance for Congregate Living Facilities.

Homeless Shelters should aim to reduce the spread of COVID-19, minimize introductions of COVID-19 and mitigate the severity of COVID-19 in their facilities. For more information, see CDPH's Updated Guidance for Homeless Shelters as Chicago Reopens and the COVID-19 symptom screening tool.

Early Childhood Education/Childcare Programs – In order to protect the progress we’ve made in Chicago to reduce COVID-19 transmission, childcare providers should follow the CDPH Interim Guidance on Management of COVID-19 Cases in Childcare Settings.

Pre-K-12 schools must report all COVID-19 cases in students and staff to CDPH and follow CDPH Interim Guidance on Management of COVID-19 Cases in pK-12 Schools. For COVID-19 mitigation strategies see CPDH Interim Guidance on COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies in K-12 Schools.  Schools should also follow guidance from IDPH and the CDC

Institutions of Higher Education should take measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission on campus. See CDPH Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education.