CHICAGO — Chicago moved into Phase 3 of it’s coronavirus reopening plan Wednesday, despite ongoing unrest over the death of George Floyd.
Business owners are resilient and say they’re ready to welcome customers again. But before you head out, city leaders are reminding the public that we remain in the middle of a pandemic.
The city transitioned to “Phase 3” of its reopening plan Wednesday, under which many businesses can open their doors with capacity restrictions and other preventative measures in place.
Restaurants will only partially reopen for outdoor dining. Diners will be limited to six people, all sitting six-feet apart.
The city is helping restaurants make room for more outdoor space by closing streets and putting up tents. Chicago’s “Our Streets” pilot program will close six roads in major commercial corridors, including Chatham, Lakeview, Little Village, Rush and Division, Near West Side and the West Loop.
Businesses like non-essential retail stores, hair salons and nail salons will also reopen, with significantly reduced capacity.
Office buildings can also open in Phase 3, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot suggests businesses use staggered start and end times so public transportation doesn’t get overcrowded. The mayor is also encouraging people to continue to work from home if possible.
City services including parks, facilities and libraries will begin reopening on June 8 as well, offering additional services in light of recent unrest, according to a statement.
The lakefront remains closed and gyms can’t fully reopen, although Lightfoot previously said they may allow them to reopen at some point during Phase 3.
The city will also be working with local businesses to provide board-up services and other assistance as protests and unrest continues in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
City officials decided to move on to the next “phase” based on a declining number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, available hospital capacity and the amount of testing in the city.
Dr. Allison Arwady is warning residents to take the proper precautions when out in public to avoid a setback with COVID-19.