Libraries and parks have been off limits for the past two-and-a-half months.
On March 21, Governor JB Pritzker’s statewide stay-at-home order was enacted, effectively shutting down public libraries as well as closing off parks to the public. Today, libraries will reopen as will some parks — with the exception of the Lakefront.
Last week, the City of Chicago moved into Phase 3 of its reopening plan. While restaurants, barbershops, offices, and other small businesses were allowed to reopen, libraries and parks were to be withheld until this week.
Effective today, most of Chicago’s Public Libraries will reopen, including the Harold Washington Library Center in the Loop.
New restrictions include the mandatory and enforced wearing of masks in the libraries. Time inside libraries limited to an hour. Books will be checked via self-checkout machine — with assistance if needed. Library capacities and hours will also be reduced. Before returned books go back into circulation, the materials will first undergo a period of quarantine. For a complete list of available branches and their hours, see here.
With the exception of Lakefront Trail, all parks west of Lake Shore Drive are reopening, those include: Grant Park, Lincoln Park, Burnham Park, Harold Washington Park, and Jackson Park. Diversey Driving Range and Jackson Park Golf Course will also reopen.
Of course, this phase. maintains that visitors must continue to wear masks and practice safe social distancing.
Lightfoot mentioned days ago that she would make an announcement about the Lakefront Trail soon.
[Featured image: @lev.kaytsner]