Rep. Sosnowski Calls for Consistency Regarding Restrictions on Children Museums, Movie Theaters and Bowling Alleys

Rockford – After receiving feedback from constituents and business owners, State Representative Joe Sosnowski (R–Rockford) is calling on the Governor and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to revise certain Phase 4 reopening guidelines for some industries. 

“The regulatory burdens in Phase 4 on certain businesses are too restrictive. Many businesses are on the edge of closing permanently due to Covid restrictions, and the regulations that the Pritzker Administration are more stringent than even the CDC recommendations,” said Rep. Sosnowski. “I believe bowling alleys and other businesses can safely reopen every other lane at a minimum, and movie theaters can be capped at 50% capacity per individual theater, just as other states are doing. Additionally, museums should be allowed to open with at least 50% occupancy with safety precautions  in place.”

“It makes no logical or scientific sense that restaurants and fitness clubs will be able to essentially open fully with social distancing but bowling alleys and movie theaters can only have 50 people no matter how large and zoos and museums can only have 25% capacity.  What scientist is recommending these standards?  It’s completely arbitrary and non-sensical.”

According to the Pritzker Administration’s current plan, indoor recreation spaces, which includes bowling alleys and movie theaters, are subject to both the 50% capacity limit and the 50-person limit, whichever is less, and museums are required to limit capacity to 25%. Rep. Sosnowski is asking the administration to adjust the policy to allow a bowling alley or movie theaters and other businesses with excessive restrictions to be allowed at least 50% capacity without other limitations.

Sosnowski explained that a mega-bowling alley or mega theater that has capacity limits of well over 100 people will not be able to let in a 51st customer – even if social distancing guidelines could be adhered to. Most states are allowing bowling alleys to operate with bowlers at every other lane in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. 

“Some of these facilities have more than ample square footage to allow for social distancing,” added Sosnowski. “It makes no sense that these restrictions are put on some places but not others.” Additionally, the guidelines released this week state that museums can reopen but interactive exhibits must be closed.  Discovery Center Museum in Rockford has an in-depth plan to reopen that they developed in coordination with the Winnebago County Health Department.“In order to expand learning opportunities for children, I am calling for children’s museums with hands-on interactive exhibits to be able to open as long as they can follow social distancing guidelines and enhanced sanitation practices,” emphasized Rep. Sosnowski. “Every child learns differently, and it is important children are given hands-on learning opportunities. According to the experts at the County Health Department reopening museums with interactive exhibits can be done safely in Phase 4.”