July 4, 2020
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CHICAGO — As Illinois prepares to reopen, Chicago’s lakefront is excluded from the next phase of the city’s plans to reopen.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot made a brief comment on the status of the lakefront during a speech Wednesday to the Economic Club.

Lightfoot was outlining the phases of plans she called a “reimagination” of Chicago, as the city begins to recover and reopen over the coming months.

“And just one more thing to add, unfortunately at this point we will not be ready to reopen our lakefront,” she said.

She did not elaborate beyond that statement, as she went on to talk about her five-phase “Protecting Chicago” plan.

Once the city moves from Phase Two to Phase Three, some non-essential businesses will come back like manufacturing, libraries, and the reopening of parks under strict conditions.

At workplaces, the mayor said face coverings will likely be required and there will be potential health screenings for employees.

Lightfoot went on to talk about retail stores opening in the future and said there will be similar social distancing and contactless checkout that are now in grocery stores.

Lightfoot then made the remark regarding the lakefront.

As far as a summer with potentially no access, many are obviously disappointed.

WGN News spoke with Greg Stellatos, the owner of Go Grocer, a small grocery store near Montrose Beach.

“As a business owner, it’s certainly disheartening to hear,” he said. “Summertime is such a busy time, especially for businesses all up and down the bike path. But at the end of the day you still have to put people’s needs and health in front of money. And I think that’s the best thing for society as a whole. We have to buckle down and hope for the best.”

As far as salons, restaurants, and retail, Lightfoot said she understands they have been some of the hardest hit but she feels they are among the higher risk industries.

She said she is speaking with business leaders on creative ways to bring some of these services back safely sooner rather than later.