CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city will reinstate some COVID-19 restrictions to help combat the recent rise in cases.
Lightfoot, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) announced Monday a re-tightening of restrictions for bars, restaurants, gyms and personal services as a precautionary move.
The restrictions will go into effect Friday, July 24 at midnight, in order to allow businesses time to prepare.
“We have made so much progress here in Chicago in containing the spread of the virus, protecting our health system and saving lives, and in general, the virus remains under control locally. But we are again seeing a steady increase in new cases,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “While we aren’t near the peak of the pandemic from earlier this year, none of us wants to go back there, and we feel these restrictions will help limit further community spread.”
Restrictions will include:
- Bars, taverns, breweries and other establishments that serve alcohol for on-site consumption without a Retail Food license will no longer be able to serve customers indoors.
- Restaurants that serve alcohol will be allowed to continue to operate as long as they abide by ongoing COVID-19 guidance and existing regulations.
- Establishments without food may still provide outdoor service as they did under phase three.
- Maximum party size and table occupancy at restaurants, bars, taverns and breweries will be reduced to six people.
- Indoor fitness class size will be reduced to a maximum of 10 people.
- Personal services requiring the removal of face coverings will no longer be permitted (shaves, facials, etc.).
- Residential property managers will be asked to limit guest entry to five per unit to avoid indoor gatherings and parties.
As a result of the new restrictions, one North Side staple has decided to close its doors. After 34 years, Guthries Tavern will have its last day on Thursday.
According to the mayor’s office, the recent uptick in cases as well as surging COVID-19 activity in other states around the country is cause for concern and motivated this move to scale back.
“No one relishes making this move but it’s the right thing to do as we work to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 similar to what we’re seeing in many states around the country,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “This virus has had a disproportionate impact on Black and Latinx individuals, many of whom are essential workers who have continued to go to work, and we can’t afford to see a resurgence that would mean more cases and more deaths.”
To prepare all business owners for the new guidance, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection will be hosting a series of webinars this week. To register and learn more, visit chicago.gov/businessworkshops.