Chicago will reopen restaurants and bars for indoor dining with restrictions on Friday, as Mayor Lori Lightfoot moved to align the city’s reopening with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Phase 4 plan for the rest of the state.
Lightfoot’s decision to reopen eateries with restrictions — they will be at 25 percent capacity — on June 26 is one week ahead of the original plan, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The city is hoping to catch up with the state, after having implemented its Phase 3 “Cautiously Reopen” plan on June 3. That phase included opening real estate services, offices, retail shops and hotels at reduced capacities; restaurants were allowed to open for outdoor dining only.
Phase 4 has been dubbed, “Gradually Resume.” On Monday, Chicago’s Lakefront Trail and the 606 were scheduled to reopen, also with restrictions.
In early May, Pritkzer mapped out his five-phase plan for reopening the state following the virus shutdowns.
In a news release, Lightfoot said: “Like all Chicagoans, I am personally excited to see them take these new, cautious steps toward safely reopening, and commend their collaboration throughout this unprecedented crisis.”
While several owners said they were eager to reopen, even if it meant losing money, the head of the Illinois Restaurant Association, Sam Toia, said the restrictions will make it difficult for owners to operate, according to the report.
In addition to the 25 percent maximum capacity restrictions, businesses no matter the size of the space will be capped at 50 customers, and tables will be set up six feet apart. Toia said Chicago should follow guidelines set in California, which has no restrictions on the number of customers in stores, but maintains the six-foot distance between tables, the Tribune reported. [Tribune] — Alexi Friedman