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Lakefront And Beaches Will Officially Remain Closed In June, Lightfoot Says

By Colby Smith

Lakefront And Beaches Will Officially Remain Closed In June, Lightfoot Says

Your tan is going to have to wait.

With Chicago currently in Phase 2 of Pritzker’s Restore Illinois re-opening plan for the state, the next stage would see a re-opening of additional businesses and amenities. Beaches and Lakefront, however, will remain closed says Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Earlier today, the mayor spoke in a Q&A with the Economic Club of Chicago. In the interview, Lightfoot remarked the difficulty in navigating the near future with regards to the unpredictability of the virus and managing new outbreaks.

In order to prevent receding into an earlier phase, Lightfoot cautioned the public in re-opening too quickly.

“Reopening will be like slowly turning on a dimmer, not flipping a light switch,” said the mayor. 

Stage 3 of the state’s re-opening plan would see a re-opening of certain businesses, including barbershops and salons, health and fitness clubs (for outdoor classes and one-on-one personal training), and limited child care and summer programs. In addition to state parks.

Last week, the mayor said that re-opening public-frequented areas such as Lakefront, Riverwalk, The 606, and other parks would not likely happen once Chicago entered Phase 3.

Today, the mayor declared definitively that Chicago would not be ready to open its Lakefront.

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On March 26, the city closed Lakefront, adjacent parks, beaches, trails, and Riverwalk after residents flocked to the areas to enjoy the warm weather.

“While our parks and other green spaces offer residents a brief respite during this stay at home order, we simply must take action to prevent the large gatherings that are putting our public health at risk,” said Mayor Lightfoot on the occasion.

In her press conference last week, the mayor said that the city was in conversation with the parks department and local alderman on organizing a phased opening of certain zones in segmented hours for particular types of activities.

Until then, Chicago’s beaches will remain closed to the public.

Feature photo @matthewdolkart