The "stay-at-home" order has officially expired and Chicago is beginning to cautiously reopen today, allowing many local businesses to welcome customers back for the first time in months. Wednesday, June 3 marks the beginning of Phase 3 of Chicago's reopening plan, which differs from the state's approach to reopening—Illinois ended its "stay-at-home" order and entered Phase 3 of its framework on Friday, May 29.
Many expected the city to delay its reopening timeline in light of recent protests, the enactment of a citywide curfew and limited access to the Loop. But after consulting with business owners, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has decided to move forward on June 3. Just don't expect your favorite place to open their doors today, or even this week. Many local businesses are recovering from recent damage, obtaining personal protective equipment for staff and determining how they can provide their services while keeping employees and customers safe. Rebounding from weeks of closure is going to take time, and we expect many businesses to approach the reopening with an abundance of warranted caution.
Over the past few weeks, we've been presented with a deluge of information about Phase 3 of Chicago's reopening plan, including specific safety guidelines for business and a pilot program that will allow some restaurants to seat diners on closed city streets. We've gathered all of our coverage of the Phase 3 reopening in one place, so you can easily track down the details you're looking for—and we'll continue to provide updates on businesses that are reopening as well as evolving safety guidelines.
- Here's everything that's reopening in Phase 3, including restaurants, coffee shops, non-essential retail stores, hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, childcare services, commercial office buildings and some outdoor attractions.
- Chicago libraries and park facilities will open on June 8, but the park facilities that are reopening only include those that are west of Lake Shore Drive.
- Here are the safety guidelines that different types of businesses will need to follow in Phase 3. Get used to wearing a face covering and maintaining six feet of social distance from others, because protecting yourself and other is still extremely important.
- Here's what outdoor dining at restaurant will look like. You'll have to make a reservation, dine with parties of no more than six people and wear your face covering whenever you're not seated. You'll also be responsible for boxing your own leftovers.
- Chicago bars that serve food are also allowed to reopen. If your favorite bar has a kitchen and outdoor dining space, they're included in this phase of Chicago's plan. Bars that exclusively serve booze will have to wait, largely due to the fact that tipsy people aren't great at following social-distancing rules.
- The city is closing six streets to make way for outdoor dining. A pilot program will close roads in neighborhoods like the West Loop, Lakeview and Chatham, allowing restaurant to offer seated dining in streets and parking lots. Later in the month, several roads in neighborhoods will close to traffic to allow more space for walkers, joggers and cyclists.
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