Chicago’s lakefront trail reopened at the end of June and lakefront restaurants with outdoor seating were given the go-ahead to begin serving patrons last week, which may have given people the impression that the entire lakefront had returned to its pre-pandemic normal.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot sent a strong message via social media that restrictions are still very much in place.
Over the weekend, the mayor reprimanded a group she saw gathered at Montrose Harbor, and shared a picture of the group, the vast majority of which were not wearing masks or social distancing.
It's called a pandemic, people. This reckless behavior on Montrose Beach is what will cause us to shut down the parks and lakefront. Don't make us take steps backwards. pic.twitter.com/FHxeYfH7Wf
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) August 8, 2020
Lightfoot later tweeted: “In case you were wondering, I stopped by to see for myself. It’s being addressed.”
Fencing has since been installed at Montrose Beach to deter large gatherings and will remain in place indefinitely, according to Michele Lemons, Chicago Park District spokeswoman.
“While the lakefront trail is open, Chicago’s beaches and parkland, east of Lake Shore Drive remain closed under the Chicago Department of Public Health’s executive order,” Lemons added.
Activities such as biking, walking, jogging and rollerblading are allowed on the lakefront trail from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., under the condition that people “keep it moving.”
Lightfoot shut down the entire lakefront in March after observing people’s disregard for social distancing guidelines amid the pandemic.