Lightfoot imposes a 10 pm curfew on bars and restaurants.
On Thursday, October 22 Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a series of new restrictions in an attempt to clamp down on a surge of Coronavirus cases across Chicago calling it a “critical moment”. The same day NBC Chicago announced that the number of daily cases in Chicago had more than doubled in the last three weeks while the coronavirus death rate has skyrocketed over the same period rising from 3 deaths a day to 38 a day.
As of Friday, October 23, a curfew has now been put in place forcing all non-essential businesses to be closed between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am. The measures include bars, restaurants, and taverns, with any businesses not in the possession of a food license now restricted from operating any indoor service altogether and liquor sales now prohibited citywide at any time after 9 pm.
These new restrictions will last a minimum of two weeks. The only businesses exempt from these new rules are pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurant delivery services. Lightfoot has called for Chicagoans to refrain from gathering in groups of anything more than six people and insisted that should the positivity rate continue to rise more restrictions will be put in place including a complete ban on indoor dining.
EFFECTIVE TOMORROW: New measures go into effect to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Chicago. Essential businesses like grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations will be able to stay open during the non-essential business curfew. More info ➡️ https://t.co/njOQ14kE6Y. pic.twitter.com/e7ixwjMFM7
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) October 22, 2020
The news comes a few days on from Lightfoot having tweeted about young Chicagoans leading COVID-19 cases. Lightfoot stated “There is no vaccine. There is no cure. None of us are invincible – mask up, wash your hands, and be sure to practice social distancing whenever possible.”
Younger Chicagoans are leading in COVID-19 cases right now. There is no vaccine. There is no cure. None of us are invincible – mask up, wash your hands and be sure to practice social distancing whenever possible. pic.twitter.com/czkYFWriTJ
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) October 19, 2020
The city’s Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady also sought to justify the restrictions that might seem draconian to many stating that the measures are “nothing against the bars, but it is a source of the spread… Do not invite anybody over to your house or apartment. This is not the time for non-essential gatherings. Period.”