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Belleville extends street closures to accommodate outdoor dining

Belleville’s City Council has agreed to extend the partial closure of certain streets to accommodate outdoor dining.

The council on Monday night approved Resolution 3389-2020, which will keep the following streets partially closed until Nov. 14: South High Street, South Jackson Street, and North Church Street. All the roads are in the area crossing East Main Street and packed with restaurants.

“We wanted to take proactive measures to ensure our local businesses can operate if the state moves the region back to Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois Pan,” said Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert (shown). “We’ve seen an increase in numbers of COVID-19 over the past several weeks and the state keeps warning that this region could regress if progress isn’t made.”

Those businesses operating with a Temporary Outdoor Dining Permit must be closed no later than 11 p.m. with music ending no later than 10 p.m. on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, these businesses must close no later than midnight with music ending no later than 11 p.m. Any existing outdoor patio areas approved previously may stay open in accordance with the establishment’s existing liquor license.

Live entertainment must be limited to two musicians and all employees providing service are required to wear a mask.

“We have to maintain safety and providing festival-like environments for people to congregate is not in the best interest of the publics’ health right now,” said Eckert. “We want all our businesses to thrive and many have adapted to the current environment pretty well, but we have got to maintain safe practices including mask wearing and social distancing until it is safe to return to usual operating practices.”

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