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Chicago will cautiously reopen in early June, mayor says

Gregory Pratt, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

CHICAGO -- The city of Chicago is on pace to begin cautiously reopening and ease restrictions on certain activities in early June, with outdoor dining at restaurants, barber shops, non-lakefront park buildings and libraries slated to resume limited business, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Friday.

If safety measures can be put in place, Lightfoot also said the city could potentially reopen summer programs and allow private camps, religious services, gyms, museums and the lakefront later on in the summer.

Schools, playgrounds, bars, stadiums and music venues will remain closed for now, she said.

Though the city announced a general timeline, officials said they will be releasing more information next week about industry-specific rules and regulations for reopening.

Still, the news is likely to be a welcome relief for restive residents and business owners who want to return to some degree of normalcy, even with restrictions.

As with Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker's "Restore Illinois" plan, Lightfoot's framework sets a high bar for returning to normalcy.

 

Lightfoot can't set looser standards than the statewide ones laid out by the governor, but she can tailor them to the city. Her plan is "specifically designed for Chicago's residents and businesses, and encompassing a clear, data-driven five-phase process," she previously said.

With all regions of the state on track to move to the next phase of Pritzker's Restore Illinois reopening plan next Friday, the governor announced restaurants could reopen for outdoor dining as soon as next week.

Under Lightfoot's reopening timeline, child care centers, park facilities outside of the lakefront, libraries, office-based jobs, professional and real estate services, hotels and outdoor attractions including some boating and non-lakefront golf courses will be allowed to open, the city said.

Nonessential retail stores, hair salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors also will be able to open.

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