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Chicago’s reopening plan is still on track to enter its next phase on June 3

Mayor Lightfoot implored businesses to reopen, in spite of protests and vandalism throughout the city.

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

After protests against the killing George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department broke out in Chicago over the weekend and looting in business districts spurred the declaration of a citywide 9pm curfew, many assumed that Chicago's planned move into Phase 3 of its reopening plan on June 3 would need to be postponed. However, this morning Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that the city's reopening will move forward on schedule, citing conversations with business owners that urged her to stay the course.

Tomorrow, a long list of businesses will be able to reopen their doors to customers under new safety guidelines issued by the city. Businesses that will be able to reopen in Phase 3 include restaurants offering outdoor dining, non-essential retail stores, hair salons, nail salons, commercial office buildings and gyms offering one-on-one personal training.

"In light of the past few days, we'll continue the work we've been doing directly with local chambers of commerce and business service organizations to assist and secure the reopening process, particularly for impacted businesses," Mayor Lightfoot said, explaining that the city will attempt to accelerate the insurance claims process for businesses that have been vandalized and help with the procurement of faces masks, gloves and other protective equipment needed for employees.

Mayor Lightfoot also announced that the city will move forward with its plan to close six roads to make way for outdoor restaurant seating as part of a pilot program that could open up additional streets later this summer. That likely means that the city's shared streets initiative will also remain in play, closing residential streets in neighborhoods to make way for pedestrians, joggers and cyclists. When Lightfoot announced the plan last Friday, she stated that additional information about the shared streets initiative would be announced in the coming days.

Mayor Lightfoot was questioned about the raised bridges along the Chicago River might be lowered and whether nightly closures of the CTA system will be stopped in the coming days, but she replied that those decisions are still being considered.

While it's unclear if businesses will feel that it's safe to ask employees to return to work or if customers will feel that it's safe (or necessary) to dine at restaurants, get a hair cut or shop at a retail store in the coming days, city officials seem adamant that Chicago's reopening is moving forward, regardless of the complications that current events are introducing.

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