CHICAGO (CBS) — With news that restaurants won’t be reopening next week in Chicago despite Governor Pritzker’s news that Phase 3 for the state can start on May 29, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that won’t be the case in the city.
The mayor said she’s hopeful it will happen sometime next month, but wouldn’t give an exact date.
“Make no mistake, our road all the way to Phase 5 will take time. Our reopening process will be like slowly turning a dimmer switch and not flipping a light switch,” Lightfoot said. “I’m given the trajectory over the last few weeks I’m prepared for Chicago to take the first step in early June.”
Lightfoot listed a number of businesses that could open next month.
“Child care and in-home family daycare. Child care is a key enabler of supporting our work force that needs to be away from home as well as our park facilities west of Lake Shore Drive and our libraries would serve as vital community anchors,” Lightfoot said.
She added that City Hall may also reopen in June along with other businesses.
“We are also on track for opening up office space jobs and professional services. And real estate services with capacity limitations, along with hotel, lodging, and limited outdoor attractions, including non-lake front golf courses.”
As for restaurants and places offering personal services?
“We’ll also see the partial reopening of restaurants and coffee shops with a focus on outdoor space as well as non-essential retail stores and personal services such as barbershops, hair and nail salons with appropriate health precautions in place. These limited re-openings will be in addition to the industries that will continue to be open or will expand operations in Phase 3.”
When asked why a specific date wasn’t given, Lightfoot said it was difficult to say because it depends on the data on COVID-19 cases.
“Early June means to me not the 10th, something sooner than that. Possibly in the single digits in June.”
What won’t be open?
“Our schools, playgrounds, bars and lounges, as well as large venues such as stadiums, theaters, music venues, convention centers, will remain closed for now. We do want to see of course all these return and they will. But we simply aren’t ready yet,” Lightfoot said.
The mayor said more guidelines for businesses will be released next week. Lightfoot said it will include information “as how businesses can engage in healthy interactions between workers and customers, how to maintain safe working spaces and conditions, and how to design and monitor workplace operations to create flexibility and further safety for employees and customers.”
The mayor’s added that regardless of industry reopening plans, all residents should continue to abide by important guidance in phase three, including:
- When in the presence of others, keeping 6 feet of physical distance apart and wear a face covering
- Non-business, social gatherings limited to fewer than 10 persons
- Phased, limited public amenities begin to open
- Stay at home if you feel ill or have come into contact with someone with COVID-19
- Continue to physically distance from vulnerable populations
- Get tested if you have symptoms
The following areas could open under Phase 3:
- Childcare centers
- In-home family childcare
- Park facilities (non-Lakefront, does not include contact sports)
- Office-based jobs
- Professional services
- Real estate services
- Outdoor attractions (e.g. boating – not including The Playpen, non-Lakefront golf courses)
- Retail stores (non-essential)
- Personal services (e.g., hair/nail salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors)
- Restaurants and coffee shops (outdoor dining)
The mayor said that other spaces could open after the initial start of Phase 3, possibly in in June but guidelines are still being measured:
- Summer programs & youth activities (e.g., Park District, private summer camps)
- Religious services
- The Lakefront
- Limited-capacity outdoor performances
Places currently open could expand operations in Phase 3:
- Community mental health
- Federally Qualified Health Centers
- Public transit
- Regional transit
- Rideshare & taxis
For the time being, schools, playgrounds, bars and lounges, and large venues (stadiums, indoor theaters, music venues, convention centers) will remain closed.
“I’m happy to say we continue to see positive trends in several key areas and are on track to move into the next phase of our response some time next month,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “While we’re not out of the woods yet and we all still need to take proper precautions, it’s clear the stay-at-home order and all the social distancing we’ve been doing has been working: we’ve prevented the health system from becoming overwhelmed and saved lives, and we should all be thankful and proud of that fact.”