Lightfoot made the important announcement ahead of Fourth of July weekend.
In a press conference earlier today, Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a warning to bars and restaurants, declaring that the city would shutdown those establishments that do not follow the city’s coronavirus-based safety regulations.
Over the past month, the City of Chicago has continued its process of reopening. Last month alone, the city reopened bars, breweries, libraries, Millennium Park, The Riverwalk, Navy Pier, The Lakefront, and The 606 trail. Furthermore, the city transitioned last weekend into Phase 4 of its reopening process, which entailed that bars and restaurants would be allowed to reopen for indoor limited indoor seating.
While Chicago has faired well in comparison to other cities in terms of its number of COVID cases, it has seen a slight increase as of late. That news come among the surfacing of images from last weekend, which featured many citizens gathering in groups outside bars and restaurants, many not wearing masks.
“We simply cannot have any large gatherings like we saw last weekend in our bars and restaurants,” the mayor said in a press conference earlier today. The mayor continued, in which she relayed the same message she had on a call earlier with bar and restaurant owners:
“This is a make-or-break weekend for you. Your financial fate is in your hands: abide by the rules or unfortunately you’re going to suffer the consequences.”
While Lightfoot acknowledged the struggle of those owners, she also observed the struggle of the city to reach its current point — comparing it to other cities and states who’ve reopened to soon and subsequently experienced spikes is cases.
“We’ve seen when that approach has happened, what the consequences are: cases all over the country are on fire…That’s not going to be our story…I don’t want to have to shut you down, but if you make me, I will,” said Lightfoot.
The mayor also said that many of the city’s parks would remain open, including Millennium Park, for Fourth of July weekend. To ensure that people wear masks and adequately social distance themselves, the mayor said that the areas would be patrolled by CPD.
[Featured image: @chicagosmayor]