Pritzker says essential employees don’t need papers to travel

Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently clarified his stay-at-home order emphasizing that essential employees don’t need to have written permission from their jobs to be out. (Photo courtesy: WJBC/File)

By Illinois Radio Network

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. J.B. Pritzker said essential employees do not need documentation of their employment status to travel to and from work.

Pritzker issued an order for Illinois residents to stay at home until April 7. The order exempts trips for essential supplies – such as visits to the grocery store and pharmacy – along with travel for those who work at essential businesses.

The order caused some confusion with companies who fielded essential services, but Pritzker made it clear on Sunday that law enforcement officers would not be asking people outside of their homes for proof of employment.

“Let me be clear, you do not need to have papers or permission from your employer,” he said. “Nobody’s being stopped on the streets unless they are seen to be directly violating the stay-at-home order, in which case, a police officer or somebody else may just ask you ‘please go home or are you, in fact, going to your job or going somewhere that is essential?’ just to encourage people to do the right thing.”

The list of companies Pritzker included in the order that would remain open is extensive:

  • Essential Infrastructure: Working in food production, distribution and sale; construction; building management and maintenance; airport operations; operation and maintenance of utilities, including water, sewer, and gas; electrical; distribution centers; oil and biofuel refining; roads, highways, railroads, and public transportation; ports; cybersecurity operations; flood control; solid waste and recycling collection and removal; and internet, video, and telecommunications systems

  • Stores that sell groceries and medicine

  • Food, beverage and cannabis production and agriculture

  • Organizations that provide charitable and social services

  • Media

  • Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation

  • Financial institutions

  • Hardware and supply stores

  • Critical trades, including plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and governmental properties, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, moving and relocation services, and other service providers that maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses and Operations

  • Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery and pick-up services

  • Educational institutions, for purposes of facilitating distance learning, performing critical research, or performing essential functions

  • Laundry services

  • Restaurants for consumption off-premises

  • Supplies to work from home

  • Supplies for Essential Businesses and Operations

  • Transportation, for purposes of Essential Travel

  • Home-based care and services

  • Residential facilities and shelters

  • Professional services

  • Day care centers for employees exempted by the executive order

  • Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries

  • Critical labor union functions

  • Hotels and motels, to the extent used for lodging and delivery or carry-out food services

  • Funeral services

Illinois Radio Network can be reached at 


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