For the first time in 16 months, Chicago’s City Hall has reopened to the public, according to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office.
City Hall was closed in March 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic began to spread across the United States, and Lightfoot says the decision to reopen the facility to the public is a testament to how far the city, and the country, have come in the fight against the virus.
"Due to our progress to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19, I am proud to announce that City Hall is officially reopening to the public,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Our efforts in promoting equality, inclusion, and transparency in all aspects of City Government will now be even more accessible as we open City Hall up to our citizens who have made reconnecting after the pandemic possible. We are excited to see you all again soon, and we continue encouraging residents to get vaccinated so that we can fully reopen even more spaces throughout the city."
According to the press release, City Hall will be open between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. All visitors will be required to wear masks and to socially distance in the building.
The mayor’s office made the following announcements about changes at specific departments that operate from City Hall:
-The Department of Finance’s Payment Service Centers will remain open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Debt checks will remain available through email, and in-person services will resume on a limited basis beginning Tuesday. More information can be found here.
-The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection’s Small Business Center will reopen for limited in-person consultations on Tuesday. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to continue using remote meetings and other services when available.
-The Department of Buildings will gradually reopen to the public, with in-person service prioritized for homeowners and business tenants with limited internet access. Residents are encouraged to use online services as much as possible.
-The Office of the City Clerk will remain open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at City Hall. More services can be found on the clerk’s website.