Instead of waiting until the city's next reopening phase that was expected July 1, Chicago will join the state to allow indoor dining and drinking next week, the city announced today. City officials are still determining what date to transition to Phase 4, dubbed "Gradually Resume."
Restaurants and bars will be able to operate at only 25 percent capacity, with at most 50 people per room or floor. Tables must be 6 feet apart, with no more than 10 people per table. Updated industry-specific guidelines for food service and bars are available here. The city is still pressuring bars and restaurants to "continue to make outdoor seating a priority for safe dining and drinking."
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a press release announcing the indoor dining opening that "if the city continues to see progress in the data—including further declines in cases, deaths and hospitalizations—capacity at restaurants could be expanded to 50 percent. To make that move the city would need to reach an average of fewer than 100 new cases a day, which would move Chicago into the moderate-risk category rather than the higher-risk category it is in now, using CDC metrics based on population size."
As of June 18, the city's seven-day rolling new case average is 164.
Chicago bars and taverns were allowed to open up outdoor and patio drinking spaces Wednesday. The Lakefront Trail and the 606 are slated to reopen Monday, but users must keep moving and will not be allowed to use beaches or loiter.
The city's Business Affairs Department will hold webinars next week—to register and learn more, visit Chicago.gov/businessworkshops.