Block parties can return to Chicago this summer, officials announced Thursday, without bounce houses, among additional mitigations in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a Facebook Live that the Department of Transportation would begin accepting permits for block parties starting June 6, with gatherings set to begin July 5.
"I do just want to highlight, of course, that we are continuing to measure all the health metrics," Arwady said. "This is assuming that we continue to see progress here, but we're feeling optimistic about it, you know. You've heard us say sort of June/July is when we really expect to kind of be more widely open."
Due to the pandemic, Arwady said officials will require that planners notify neighbors of the event and recommend that those attending, whom are eligible, receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
If children are not eligible for the vaccine by the time of the block party, those under age 12 will also be required to wear a face covering during the event, she added.
Because officials continue to express concern over children and the spread of COVID-19, Arwady said there will be no bounce houses nor jumping jacks allowed.
Although there likely won't be a capacity limit in place, officials noted there should be a "COVID captain" who works to communicate safety protocols to neighbors. Arwady said this person will typically be the person who applied for the permit.
She added the process of applying is the same as pervious years where residents are required to contact their aldermen to eventually receive a permit for the gathering.