Chicago Is Tightening Up Restrictions Again on Bars, Restaurants, Gyms and Salons as Coronavirus Cases Rise

Coronavirus Bar Closures Chicago

Last week, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a stern warning to Chicagoans that a renewed wave of restrictions could be on the horizon if coronavirus cases continue to increase. Less than a week later, Lightfoot’s administration today announced a rollback with new limitations impacting Chicago, bars, restaurants, salons and gyms.

First up, bars that do not serve food will no longer be able to allowed to serve alcohol indoors. Lightfoot last week zeroed in on the fact that 30 percent of Chicago’s new cases in recent weeks could be traced to young people ages 18-29 in the Lincoln Park area, a statistic local Ald. Michelle Smith (43rd) called “embarrassing.”

Maximum party size and table occupancy at bars and restaurants will also now be reduced to six people.

Gyms must now limit indoor fitness class sizes to a maximum of 10 people.

At salons, services that require the removal of face coverings such as facials and shaves will no longer be permitted.

In an effort to curb large gatherings and house parties, residential property managers have also been asked to limit guest entry to five per unit.

“We have made so much progress here in Chicago in containing the spread of the virus, protecting our health system and saving lives, and in general, the virus remains under control locally. But we are again seeing a steady increase in new cases,” Mayor Lightfoot said in a press release. “While we aren’t near the peak of the pandemic from earlier this year, none of us wants to go back there, and we feel these restrictions will help limit further community spread.”

After last week’s warnings, the restrictions don’t come as a big surprise, particularly as we’ve already seen states with major coronavirus surges such as Florida, Texas, and California reinstate restrictions and re-close bars and restaurants to indoor dining.

As this is a constantly evolving situation, we will be sure to keep you updated.

How you can help:

Practice social distancing and wear a mask when you leave your house. If you are looking to give back, the Chicago Community Trust COVID-19 Response Fund is supporting local nonprofit organizations serving our region’s most vulnerable neighbors.

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Brooke Geiger McDonald is a Chicago native who has worked for O, The Oprah Magazine and Shape magazine in New York and for various book publishers in London. Back home in Chicago, she’s outnumbered by her husband and two sons, and the four of them are certifiable Disney and Star Wars fanatics, always counting down the days to their next Disney vacation. Her favorite nonprofits to support include The Walt Disney Birthplace in Chicago and organizations focused on environmental conservation and combatting climate change, such as the Environmental Defense Fund and Shedd Aquarium. Follow her on Instagram @brookegmcdonald and Twitter @BrookeGMcDonald.