Nearly three months after Navy Pier closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the iconic Chicago attraction began to reopen on Wednesday.
The first phase of Navy Pier's reopening plan includes public access to outdoor spaces, restaurant patios and select attractions, the Pier said.
“Following Navy Pier’s longest closure in recent history, we, along with the rest of Chicago, are anxious to reopen our spaces and safely welcome guests back to the Pier over the next few months as we work collectively to restore our local economy,” said Marilynn Gardner, Navy Pier president and CEO. “We recognize that our new reality is now accompanied by new standards, and as the People’s Pier, we are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure the health, safety and comfort of all who visit the Pier."
The following will be open and available to the public:
- Navy Pier parking garages (free access)
- Polk Bros Park
- Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion
- North and South Dock, Pier Park (rides remain closed)
- East End Plaza
- Outdoor restaurant spaces
- Tour boats
- Select free programs
Navy Pier will operate from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., though hours may vary per restaurant. All interior spaces, including the Chicago Children’s Museum and Chicago Shakespeare Theater, will remain closed during the first reopening phase. Rides will also stay closed until further notice, and fireworks displays and large-scale events remain canceled during Phase 1.
Navy Pier closed on March 16, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Navy Pier's reopening plan follows the phased framework detailed by the state of Illinois and city of Chicago, according to the Pier.
Safety measures on Pier property and at parking garages include: "multiple layers of stringent cleaning and disinfecting" and more than 75 hand sanitizer dispensers installed for guests. Employees will be required to wear face masks or coverings in public spaces and will receive temperature screenings before each shift.
To ensure physical distancing, Navy Pier designated Social Distancing Ambassadors to circulate the area and "cordially remind guests to practice physical distancing."
Signs will mark appropriate spacing, and the number of allowed guests will be "limited to a number that is proportional and conducive to physical distancing for that space. Gathering of large groups of 10 or more people are strictly prohibited."
Those who violate these rules "will be subject to removal from the premises."
Navy Pier also laid out guidelines for rides when they open at a later date. Those include frequently sanitizing digital ticketing kiosk screens and placing Centennial Wheel riders in gondolas only with those within their party. The Wheel also will shut down for 15 minutes every two hours "for a full-sanitary wipe down."