By Steven Graves

CHICAGO (CBS) — After being shut down for months, the Chicago Riverwalk is open again, but with COVID-19-related restrictions in place to limit crowding.

The picturesque public space is coming back to life–sightseeing boats have customers, and people are taking in the views, either sitting, running or walking.

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However, COVID-19 means parts are cut off, and wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing is required.

“I mean, when you have a small kid running around a house for three months, anything that’s open is going to be something we want to look at,” said Riverwalk visitor Kyle Porter.

Throughout the day, some were confused by closed gates and adjusted hours.

The area between Lake Shore Drive and Lake Street is open from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Then everything’s closed for an hour of cleaning.

[And what about other Chicago institutions? When will they come back?  We have a list here.]

But from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. it opens back up. Restaurants can then take customers. Workers scrambled this morning to set up safe, outdoor seating.

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“People have been walking up and asking what time we open, so there’s a little bit of a buzz walking around,” said Kennedy Dowling, who works at Chicago Brewhouse.

Over at the lakefront, there’s also a buzz growing, even though it is technically not even open. Chopper 2 showed people on the paths, in the water and on beaches.

CBS 2 cameras even caught a workout class in session.

“It should be opened up for everybody,” said Tom Osran. “It’s silly. There’s plenty of space for people to run and bike and still social distance.”

The closed 606 trail, also had some action.

So we asked the city what makes the riverwalk different?

A spokesperson says its smaller length of about one and a half miles is easier to manage. Security teams can also monitor social distancing and other safety measures.

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