vials 031921Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) and other members of the Senate Democratic Caucus welcomed news of expanded COVID-19 vaccine access and plans to reopen the state’s economy.

“We’ve made it to this point thanks to modern science and the personal sacrifices of people all across this state,” Harmon said. “You’ve followed the rules and kept each other safe until a vaccine was widely available. Thank you. I urge everyone to remain patient and vigilant as we head into what is hopefully the final phase of this horrible pandemic.”

Vaccines for all starting April 12


Starting April 12, all Illinoisans 16 and older are expected to be eligible to receive the vaccine. Residents are encouraged to be patient in the days and weeks following this expansion, as vaccination appointments may be limited. Up-to-date eligibility guidelines and vaccination locations are available at

Back to the new normal

The governor also announced that Illinois will begin to advance to Phase 5—the final phase—of the state’s Restore Illinois Plan, in which all businesses and recreation can fully reopen and large events like festivals and conventions can take place.

Like prior stages of the Restore Illinois Plan, this new plan—the “Bridge to Phase 5”—will depend on metrics like COVID-19 hospitalization, death and vaccination rates. However, rather than a regionalized approach, Illinois will move forward to Phase 5 as one unified state.

How Illinois moves forward

If the state’s positivity and hospitalization rates remain steady,

  • When 70% of Illinois residents age 65 and older have been vaccinated, the state will begin the Bridge to Phase 5, in which capacity limits on restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and other establishments will be loosened.
  • When 50% of Illinois residents 16 and older have been vaccinated, the state will move into Phase 5, eliminating all restrictions and capacity limits.

The Bridge to Phase 5 plan also includes updated capacity limits based on risk level. The full plan is detailed here.