Navy Pier announces phased COVID-19 reopening plan


CHICAGO — Chicago’s Navy Pier has announced its phased approach to cautiously reopening and resuming operations.

Navy Pier has been closed since March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of Phase 1, which begins June 10, the following will be open to the public: Navy Pier parking garages (free access), Polk Bros Park, Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion, North and South Dock, Pier Park (rides will remain closed), East End Plaza, outdoor restaurant spaces, tour boats and select free programs.

Hours of operation will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“We recognize that our new reality is now accompanied by new standards, and as the People’s Pier, we are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure the health, safety and comfort of all who visit the Pier”, said Marilynn Gardner, Navy Pier President and CEO.

Navy Pier’s framework, which aligns with Phases 3, 4 and 5 of Illinois’ “Restore Illinois” plan and Chicago’s “Protecting Chicago” outline, prioritizes stringent cleaning measures and safety practices.

According to a press release from Navy Pier, measures include:

Multiple layers of stringent cleaning and disinfecting: Navy Pier is utilizing electrostatic anti-microbial spray treatments and sanitizing high-touch surfaces, common areas and Pier-wide attractions after each use with a disinfectant that is of the same quality found in healthcare facilities. In addition, more than 75 hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed and made available for guest use.

Preparing and equipping employees with appropriate resources: Face masks or coverings will be required for employees while in public spaces. Temperature screenings will be conducted prior to each shift. Cleaning and disinfecting supplies will be provided to staff. Guest-facing employees will be required to wear face masks and gloves at all times. Employees have been equipped with guidance on individual health and safety measures and will receive ongoing training as new information becomes available from the CDC and health leaders at the state and local level.

New physical distancing practices: Navy Pier has designated Social Distancing Ambassadors, who will be circulating the Pier to cordially remind guests to practice physical distancing. Signs marking appropriate amount of space are placed throughout the Pier for guidance. The volume of people at Navy Pier’s public programs, events and within indoor and outdoor spaces at a given time will be limited to a number that is proportional and conducive to physical distancing for that space. Gathering of large groups of 10 or more people are strictly prohibited. Guests in violation of this practice will be subject to removal from the premises.

New Pier Park measures: Upon the reopening of Pier Park rides (to come at a later date), digital ticketing kiosk screens will be sanitized frequently; Centennial Wheel riders will only be placed in gondolas with those within their party; high-touch surfaces will be wiped down after each ride; and the Wheel will shut down for 15 minutes every two hours for a full-sanitary wipe down. All Pier Park rides and attractions will operate at reduced capacity and be cleaned after each use.

New parking garage measures: Parking personnel have been trained on physical distancing practices, proper handwashing, glove usage, disinfection protocol and other best practices for infection control. Navy Pier offers the following self-parking, touchless payment options:   

  • Apple Pay and Tap features at pay stations and in-lane equipment
  • Online parking reservations through Navy Pier Website, ParkWhiz and SpotHero

Standard CDC and Chicago Public Health guidelines: Guests must bring and wear a face mask at all times while visiting Navy Pier and try to maintain six feet of distance between individuals who are not from the same household. Guests should also wash hands regularly and/or utilize the hand sanitizers provided throughout the Pier. Those who are sick, have COVID-19 symptoms or diagnosis, or have been exposed to someone with symptoms or diagnosis within the last 14 days should stay home or visit their healthcare provider.

Navy Pier said it’s prepared to modify procedures as necessary.

All interior spaces, including flagship cultural anchors, such as Chicago Children’s Museum and Chicago Shakespeare Theater, will remain closed during the Pier’s initial reopening phase. All fireworks and large-scale events are also canceled through Phase 1.

For more information, visit


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