Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot hinted Friday that she hopes to announce the reopening of the city's Lakefront "soon" with some changes and new restrictions in place.
"Well, we're hoping to get there soon," Lightfoot said when asked at a news conference when the lakefront would reopen. "Obviously, the circumstances of this week have required us to focus our focus our attention on other issues, but I'm hoping to be able to announce the reopening of the lakefront relatively soon, with a plan towards safely minimizing crowding."
Lightfoot added that city officials have been working on a plan to have "some designated times for particular activities."
"We want to make sure that we get as many voices into the discussion as possible, but I'm hopeful that we'll be able to announce something very soon," she reiterated.
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Chicago entered phase three of its reopening plan Wednesday, allowing several small businesses to reopen with new guidelines and limitations, as well as permitting gatherings of up to 10 people.
The new phase did not immediately allow the reopening of the lakefront, which has been closed since late March to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
On reopening the lakefront, Lightfoot has hinted several times that there may be changes and restrictions when it reopens to reduce crowds and accommodate for social distancing guidelines.
“What I don't want to see happen is scenes that we've seen, for example, from other states, where you open up a resource that people really love and enjoy, and then it gets mobbed,” Lightfoot said last week. “And you see people abandoning all of the hard work and social distancing and public health guidance that really got us to the point where we can even talk about opening.”
Lightfoot said she’s been working with stakeholders and city aldermen to prepare guidance for residents hoping to enjoy the many features the lakefront provides, while incorporating examples from around the country.
“We’ve spent a lot of time, for example, looking at Los Angeles County and what they've done with their beaches,” Lightfoot said before noting her biggest challenges. “For us, it's not just the beach. It's not just the lakefront path. It's not just the parks that are adjacent to it, and the golf courses, so there's a lot that goes into our consideration of how we open this back up.”