Bars and breweries across the city of Chicago will be allowed to start reopening beginning Wednesday, but only for outdoor service, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday.
Based on the "continued positive trend" in coronavirus metrics over the past several weeks, the city also announced plans Monday to reopen the Chicago Lakefront Trail — with restrictions — on Monday, June 22.
Starting Wednesday, bars, lounges, taverns, breweries and other similar establishments will be permitted to reopen for outdoor-only service, according to a news release issued by city officials. Additionally, restaurants will be able to open their bars under the same restrictions.
Customers must be seated at tables that are six feet apart, with six people or fewer per table. Individuals will only be allowed to occupy seating for two hours, the news release stated.
While the sale of alcohol for carryout and delivery must stop at 9 p.m. nightly, alcohol sales at bars and restaurants will be permitted until 11 p.m.
Furthermore, bars will be allowed to open outdoor areas, including outdoor patios, rooftops, rooms with retractable roofs and indoor spaces where 50% or more of a wall can be removed provided that dining tables are within eight feet from such openings.
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Bars and breweries are also eligible to participate in the city's "Our Streets" program in which streets are closed to allow for outdoor food and beverage service.
Lightfoot had been hinting at plans to ease further restrictions in phase three for weeks. On Friday, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady noted that an announcement could be coming this week.
Chicago entered phase three of its reopening plan on June 3, allowing several small businesses to reopen with new guidelines and limitations, as well as permitting gatherings of up to 10 people.