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Here’s What Will Reopen First In Chicago When We Move To Phase 3

Libraries, park facilities and more will make a return when the city progresses to Phase 3 of the reopening plan, Mayor Lightfoot said.

Chicago Public Libraries are set to reopen in June.
Chicago Public Library
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CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot said libraries and park facilities will reopen in Chicago when it moves to Phase 3 — but other places will have to stay closed for a while longer.

Lightfoot, speaking during a Friday press conference, announced the city will not be ready to move into Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan come May 29. She predicted Chicago will be able to move into the next phase in early June, though.

With the move will come a number of changes: People will be able to gather in groups of 10 or fewer again and some businesses will reopen.

The mayor said city officials have worked with Chicagoans and industry leaders to determine what to open first and what safety restrictions those workplaces and stores will need to have in place.

Safety guidelines and capacity limits for businesses that can reopen early in Phase 3 will be released next week, Lightfoot said.

Here’s what will reopen at the start of Phase 3:

  • Park facilities west of Lake Shore Drive
  • City Hall
  • Libraries
  • Office-based jobs
  • Professional services
  • Real estate services
  • Hotels and lodging
  • Limited outdoor attractions, including non-lakefront golf courses
  • Non-essential retail stores
  • Barber shops
  • Hair and nail salons
  • Partial reopening of restaurants and coffee shops with a focus on outdoor space

The city hopes to open more businesses and facilities, too, but it’s still making guidelines for them. They’ll remain closed for now but could open “later in June,” Lightfoot said.

Here’s what could reopen later in Phase 3:

  • The lakefront and beaches
  • Museums
  • Limited-capacity outdoor performances
  • Summer programs
  • Youth activities
  • Religious services
  • Gyms
  • Boating, but boats cannot congregate and the Playpen will stay closed

Large venues — including theaters and music venues — will remain closed, as will schools, playgrounds, bars and lounges, Lightfoot said.

“We do, of course, want to see all of these return, and they will” one day, Lightfoot said.

The mayor emphasized that even though the city is expected to progress to Phase 3 in early June and more places will open, people will need to continue taking safety precautions.

That means people must wear face masks, stay 6 feet apart and wash their hands, Lightfoot said. And businesses will need to have protections for workers and customers.

“Moving into Phase 3 does not mean the crisis is over. We do not want to experience a resurgence in cases. It’s not just a risk; it’s a real possibility,” Lightfoot said. “Every place else that we’ve seen across the world and across the country that’s opened prior to this point has seen a surge in cases. If that surge happens, we’re not gonna hesitate to take the steps that are necessary, even including moving back to the restrictions we’re all living under now in Phase 2.”

The city is partnering with Rheaply to create an online market where business owners can buy supplies they’ll need to reopen, like hand sanitizer and face masks, from local vendors.

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