Chicago to allow bars to reopen Wednesday, lakefront next week
Bars and breweries in Chicago will be allowed to partially reopen this week, while the city’s Lakefront Trail will reopen next week, city officials announced Monday.
Starting Wednesday, drinking establishments will be allowed to provide outdoor services, which include patios, rooftops, gardens and indoor space where at least 50 percent of a wall can be removed via the opening of windows, doors or panels.
Patrons must be seated at tables that are six feet apart, with six people or fewer per table. Seating will be limited to a maximum of two hours, and all establishments must stop the sale of alcoholic beverages by 11 p.m.
Additionally, the city’s 18-mile Lakefront Trail will reopen next Monday to exercise and transit. The trail will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., with officials to monitor the trail to ensure residents are following guidance issued by public health officials.
Beaches and parks east of Lake Shore Drive will remain closed.
Monday’s announcement comes as the city continues to show positive trends in its COVID-19 metrics, including deaths, new cases and hospitalizations.
“Though we still have a long way to go before life fully returns to normal, we are able to make these important steps thanks to the commitment and collaboration with our local businesses who have been true partners throughout this unprecedented crisis, as well as our fellow Chicagoans who have done their part to keep their communities protected by being responsible and preventing the spread of this disease,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
As of last week, the city averaged 16 COVID-related deaths and 220 new cases per day. Its testing positivity rate was 7.1 percent.
“We’re all excited to start the process of reopening our city but we need to do this cautiously and continue to follow all the guidance,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady. “Other cities and states that re-opened earlier are seeing rising case rates. We’ve made so much progress, we’d all hate to see that happen here in Chicago.”
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