Evanston beaches opened to swimming on Wednesday, even as nearby Chicago beaches along Lake Michigan remain closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Evanston city officials issued the following health and safety guidelines and encouraged beachgoers and swimmers to read them before arriving:
- Those who are sick or who live with a vulnerable family member should stay home.
- Beaches will be limited to 50 percent capacity in accordance with Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) guidelines to accommodate social distancing. Capacity limits vary by beach; staff will monitor and restrict admission to comply with these limits.
- Patrons must maintain a six-foot distance from those outside of their household while at the beach.
- Face coverings must be worn when entering the beach, interacting with staff, and while on the beach when maintaining a six-foot distance from others is not possible. Children age two or under and those who cannot wear a face covering due to medical issues are exempt.
In addition to safety guidelines, issued in accordance with Illinois' Phase 4 reopening framework, concessions will not be offered this summer, and drinking fountains won't be turned on.
Visitors are allowed to bring water and food to the beach but must take all items home when they leave. Glass containers and alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
"Visitors are reminded that swimming is only allowed in designated swimming areas and when lifeguards are on duty," city officials said in a statement. "Pets, with the exception of service animals, are not allowed on the beach at any time."
Lighthouse, Clark Street, Lee Street and South Boulevard beaches are open for swimming from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily through Sept. 7. Greenwood Street Beach will remain closed for the summer because of high water levels and beach erosion, city officials said.
"Lakefront restrooms are open, and are cleaned every two hours in accordance with public health guidelines," according to Evanston beach guidance.
More information, include admission passes, is on the city of Evanston website.