Bars and restaurants will now be able to stay open until 1 am.
City officials yesterday announced that bars and restaurants across Chicago can expand their indoor capacity to 50 percent or to 50 people per room, whichever of the two is fewer. It’s only been two weeks since the city boosted the previous percentage from 25 to 40 and due to a continued drop in COVID-19 cases, the city has eased restrictions again with immediate effect.
Bars and restaurants citywide will also be able to stay open until 1 am rather than the previous 11 pm closing times. The curfew on packaged alcohol sales at liquor stores and grocery stores has also been pushed back two hours from 9 pm to 11 pm each night.
In an official statement, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said “We have made incredible progress in recent weeks and months, and I thank our business community for their ongoing commitment to saving lives.”
Chicago is now at a reported 2.9 percent test positivity rate over the last week which is the lowest it has been since COVID-19 first hit Chicago. Emergency room visits are also down to 42 per day which puts Chicago at the “lower risk” level of the reopening guidelines. City officials are optimistic going forwards with vaccines being distributed, mass vaccination sites like the United Center providing an added boost, and metrics trending in the right direction.
Of course, we are not yet out of the forest and Mayor Lori Lightfoot reminded businesses and residents to be sensible saying “We must remain diligent as we continue to move forward cautiously and responsibly.” While Chicago Public Health Chief Dr. Allison Arwady stated “We need to keep it up so we can continue to reopen our city safely and smartly, and get back to doing the things we love.”
You can watch the update below: