CHICAGO (AP) --
Chicago has again loosened restrictions created during the coronavirus
pandemic, allowing bars, breweries and other businesses to resume outdoor
service starting Wednesday.
Chicago Mayor Lori
Lightfoot also announced Monday that people can get back to the city’s
popular lakefront path starting June 22.
But nearby parks
and beaches will remain closed, and city officials said patrons must follow
the “keep it moving” motto by using the trail for exercise or personal
travel, which includes walking, biking, running or rollerblading.
Lightfoot shut down
the lakefront and nearby parks in late March after residents crowded the
area on an unseasonably warm day. Lightfoot said then that it was too
difficult to keep distance from others and for months she resisted calls to
reopen the well-loved amenity.
The Chicago Park
District plans to install signs and station staff to act as “social
distancing ambassadors” along the trail, reminding people to stay away from
Owners of bars,
breweries and other businesses that don’t serve food with drinks were
unhappy when the city opted to let restaurants resume outdoor service early
this month, arguing the disparity was unfair.
The city’s loosened
rules will let businesses with outdoor patios, rooftops or rooms with
retractable roofs and large window or door openings to welcome customers.
Bars will have to
follow the same regulations including keeping tables 6 feet apart, capping
the number of people at each table and limiting customers’ stay to two
guidance for restaurants said patrons should only remove face coverings or
masks when seated at their table.
reported 49,603 cases of the coronavirus and 2,399 deaths since the pandemic
For most people,
the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, which can include fever
and cough but also milder cases of pneumonia. The risk of death is greater
for older adults and people with other health problems.
have said recent trends are still headed downward but warn that more
progress depends on people following guidelines, including wearing face
coverings outside the house.
“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 Dr. Allison Arwady,
commissioner of the Department of Public Health.