By | Rachel Brooks
Staff | Telegraph Local
Above, ABC7 shows the exterior of an Illinoisan restaurant. Pritzker soon to allow dine-in service to resume across Illinois, but Lightfoot will not allow it in Chicago until at least June._
Chicago restaurants will not be opened at the same pace as the rest of the Restore Illinois phases, as stated by Mayor Lori Lightfoot. ABC7 reports that Lightfoot persists regarding Chicago’s phases being on a different schedule. Chicago will not be prepared for phase 3 until June.
Lightfoot states that certain businesses will be scheduled to reopen as of June. These include childcare centers, in-home family childcare, park facilities (excluding the Lakefront and contact sports) libraries, office-based work, non-essential retail, personal services (which includes nail salons, hair salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors) and restaurants and coffee shops (outdoor dining.) This is citing ABC7.
Lightfoot is also adamant that the Lakefront will not reopen as she believes this will cause a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.
“Having thousands of people congregating on the lakefront is one of the surest ways that I know that we would have the kind of surge that would set us back, have us have to reimpose restrictions on mobility. I don’t want either of those things to happen,” said Lightfoot as quoted by ABC7.
NBC corroborated ABC7’s reports regarding the Lightfoot plan for reopening. Lightfoot made her comments at a recent press event. She echoed the sentiments of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady. Arwady also expressed strong confidence regarding reopening in June.
“We’re really thinking about June because if things keep going the way we are, we’ll be in a good place,” said Dr. Arwady, as quoted by NBC.
Lightfoot also expressed the urgency of reopening restaurants for eventual dine-in service.
“The reality is … no restaurant I know of is going to be able to survive based on what the weather is like on a typical day in Chicago. I think having the opportunity to do it and dine al-fresco on a larger scale, which is what we certainly are talking about, is important, but they also need the ability to be able to be inside as well,” said Lightfoot as quoted by NBC.
Chicago Tribune reported the lag on restaurant reopening. Lightfoot made her comments regarding the delay of restaurant reopening after Governor Pritzker teased the possibility that dine-in restrictions would lift next week. Lightfoot stated that she was “heartened” by Pritzker’s optimism for the rest of the state, but has no such outlook for Chicago.
“We are hard at work on looking at ways in which we can get our restaurant industry back up. I was heartened by the comments that the governor made yesterday about restaurants, but again like everything, we’ve got to do it safely.
I need to understand and be certain that restaurants across the city, not just the big ones, not just the ones that have a lot of cash flow, but the small ones, too, have the means to protect their employees and members of the public that will patronize them,” said Lightfoot, as quoted by the Chicago Tribune.
Chicago Tribune also reports that the severe impact to Chicago has been highlighted by the impact on the sex industry. Strip clubs and dominatrix dungeons have been closed down due to COVID-19 lockdowns. Even street prostitution has slowed considerably due to the decrease of traffic.