EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WAND) - The City of East Peoria has started a phased reopening, despite Governor JB Pritzker's Stay at Home order which is in place through the end of May.

Non-essential businesses including hair salons and gyms were allowed to reopen there with social distancing guidelines starting Friday, May 1.

The first phase of the Tri-County Phased Reopening Plan does not include bars and restaurants.

A second phase starting May 15 would allow bars and restaurants to reopen at 50% capacity. Churches, playgrounds, theaters, casinos and some other activities are also included in phase 2 openings.

"Our decision today is not one of defiance. Rather, it is one of respect for those citizens and members of our business community whom we represent and who are counting on us to provide the leadership, trust and confidence necessary to get East Peoria moving forward again," the mayor's office said in a statement.

"As the elected leaders of the City of East Peoria, we are committed to reopening our community in a measured, reasonable approach and have therefore made the decision to begin implementing phase 1 of the Tri-County Phased Reopening Plan beginning May 1 within East Peoria Corporate limits. "

The reopening plan does not compel any business to open. If they choose to, they are free to strictly abide by all aspects of the Governor’s latest orders.

No city official, including police officers, will take any step to discourage anyone from reopening or taking any action consistent with the Tri-County Phased Reopening Plan.

The Tri-County Phased Reopening Plan is subject to change depending on further developments, city officials said.

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