Lightfoot is due to discuss the reopening of bars and restaurants with Governor Pritzker.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has predicted a “very close” return to indoor dining insisting that she is “very, very focused on getting our restaurants reopened.” The remarks come as Governor JB Pritzker announced that Illinois will begin lifting Covid-19 mitigation measures statewide from tomorrow.
In her Thursday press conference, the Mayor acknowledged that the loosening of restrictions would not trigger the resumption of indoor dining but that it is a conversation she is going to have with Governor JB Pritzker. Lightfoot continued to emphasize that bars and restaurants are “highly regulated” due to constant inspections. Having “gone above and beyond to put in mitigation controls inside of the restaurants” they are now “one of the safest places” in Chicago.
In fact, Mayor Lightfoot implied that we were worse off with bars and restaurants closed. According to Lightfoot, since restaurants closed, people have turned to private spaces like hotel rooms and underground venues where illegal parties would take place without any masks or health and safety regulations. By reopening bars and restaurants Lightfoot feels people will be given an outlet for entertainment. This way risky behavior can be better regulated “bringing it out of the shadows” to places where responsible owners and managers can help protect people from Covid-19.
Lightfoot finished by saying a reopening is “very close” and she would like to see it return “as soon as possible.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s full statement on the reopening of bars and restaurants can be seen below from minute 36:00 onwards.