Governor J.B. Pritzker announced on Friday that Health Regions One, Three, and Five are moving from Tier 3 COVID-19 restrictions to Tier 2 restrictions.
Kendall, DeKalb, LaSalle, and Grundy counties are among those to have restrictions reduced.
The metrics the decision is based on include a test positivity rate below 12 percent, at least 20 percent of ICU beds available, and a sustained decrease in the average number of people being admitted to hospitals with COVID-like symptoms.
In Tier 2, indoor dining is still banned, but some other restrictions on group activities are reduced, according to Governor J.B. Pritzker.
If regions drop to 8 percent test positivity and below and maintain ICU bed space and decreasing hospitalizations, they will be moved to Tier 1 restrictions which allow for indoor dining again.
Governor Pritzker also announced on Friday that the more contagious variant of COVID-19 has been found in Illinois.
The variant is not thought to increase the severity of symptoms, but might be easier to spread.
Pritzker thinks Illinois could soon see the virus' spread slow down.
Illinois has distributed 447,348 vaccine doses so far. Phase 1B of vaccination is set to start on Monday, January 25. The Illinois National Guard is being activated to help with mass vaccination clinics across the state.
Illinois has had over a million COVID-19 cases and over 18,000 COVID-19 death since the pandemic began.