People enjoy the state reopening

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Champaign, Ill. (WCIA) —

“Yeah its just so surreal. It’s just crazy to see all of these people out without masks,” Audrey Bejar said.

The state moved into Phase 5 and is fully reopened. It was a busy night in downtown Champaign. People there, and across the state, enjoyed the changes that come with a reopening.

The city is anticipating more people to come out downtown, but they want it to be safe. They closed the parking lots at Neil and Washington as well as Walnut and Washington at 9 tonight. They said this is to discourage unlawful activities, but that’s not stopping people from enjoying the reopening.

“We haven’t really been downtown a lot lately just because of that. Its such a nice night and its just really nice to get out,” Brooke Feeney said.

You could see the smiles as people headed to restaurants and bars in downtown Champaign.

“We’re both vaccinated so its kind of another sigh of relief to not feel guilty even though you’re walking around without a mask. You know you’re vaccinated, but not everyone does, so now you just look like less of a bad person for walking around without a mask on,” Feeney said.

The state has moved into Phase 5 of the reopening process, which means the state is fully open.

“Its just nice seeing people out and its a good day. Its just a beautiful day out,” Bejar said.

Fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks in public. Restaurants and businesses no longer have a capacity limit.

“As long as the businesses are cool with, have social distancing and things, then go head and go eat,” Ian Fell said.

One man says he still thinks people should be careful. He encourages people to respect if restaurants still require masks, and he also says people should continue to social distance.

“Everybody should be safe and still wear their masks if the business says they should,” Fell said.

“We’re both vaccinated so its kind of another sigh of relief to not feel guilty even though you’re walking around without a mask. You know you’re vaccinated, but not everyone does, so now you just look like less of a bad person for walking around without a mask on,” Feeney said.

Brooke and Kevin Feeney haven’t been downtown as much since the pandemic and they’re happy to get back to normalcy.

“Obviously really excited. Its just fun to be able to do stuff and not have that in the back of your mind, just feeling like you can’t get too close to people. Its just kind of business as usual which is nice,” Kevin Feeney said.

The parking lots closed at 9:00 p.m, but if you’re already parked there, you can retrieve your car until 2:30 a.m. After 2:30 a.m. you will have to wait until 7:00 a.m. to pick it up. No cars are allowed into the lots from 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. The city did not say how long this would last.

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