CHICAGO — The city’s lakefront will stay closed even when Chicago enters the next phase of reopening, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday.
Lightfoot, speaking during an online Q&A with the Economic Club of Chicago, said a number of changes will come to Chicago when it enters Phase 3 of the reopening plan: workplaces will reopen and people will be able to go to shops.
But “we will not be ready to open our lakefront,” Lightfoot said.
The city shut down the lakefront and adjacent parks March 26, worried about people who gathered at the beaches or crowded the Lakefront Trail.
Since then, people have pushed the mayor for answers as to when the lakefront would reopen and when people would be able to enjoy the lake or go boating.
Though the state has started reopening parks and is allowing people to fish in boats (with just two people per boat), the city has said boating is still not allowed and the lakefront is closed.
Other cities have handled similar issues differently.
Seattle, which was hit hard by COVID-19 early in the pandemic, opened all of its popular public parks last weekend. Instead of closing them off, the city hired park ambassadors to monitor popular outdoor areas to keep people moving and make sure people were adhering to social distancing guidelines. Barbecues, picnics or other large gatherings remain prohibited.
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