“Chicago Tonight” in your neighborhood: Navy Pier | Chicago News
Chicago is easing its pandemic restrictions a bit more.
Mayor Lightfoot announced Thursday at Navy Pier that the city will be entering new phase four regulations that could impact restaurants and bars, as well as theaters and places of worship.
The new rules mean increased capacity across sectors, and Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady says it’s happening now because the number of cases, positivity rates, hospitalizations and admissions intensive care units in the city have declined or leveled off.
âSeeing these numbers drop or be stable is the ticket to reopen. This is happening, make no mistake about it because people are getting vaccinated, âArwady said.
Additionally, guests who are fully immunized will not count towards capacity limits at private indoor events, such as weddings.
Dr Arwady presents the case and insists on the need to get vaccinated and encourages others to do the same to keep the city turning the dial to reopen again.
Because, although the city’s positivity rate is lower, at 4.7%, she and the mayor warn, Chicago is not out of the woods.
âWhat we’ve seen too many times across the country, elsewhere is this enthusiasm to reopen, we’ve seen it a lot last summer, and people have gone to very high capacity levels, to have to close everything very quickly. Lightfoot said. “Now we’re in a different place than we were even last summer because we have the vaccine.”
The mayor and the health commissioner say that if these cases of decline and stabilization rates can all hold for the next two weeks, the city could join the state of Illinois to move into the bridge phase, where restrictions are further relaxed.
It would be a welcome change for tourism businesses like Steve’s Segway Tours near the lake.
Owner Steve Beier says he’s been in business for 14 years and he and his tour guides pride themselves on being among the best.
Many of his guides are in the concert economy and were able to continue working on other concerts during the pandemic, but he feels like he’s hemorrhaging money, with a few rare Segway tours – he has lost 90 to 95% of his business.
“A ghost town, or like part of a sci-fi movie, that’s how some of my tour guides have described the odd feeling of being on the museum’s campus, even sometimes today,” said Beier said.
Of course, he is hopeful to see a return.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Architecture Center is still in need of masks for outdoor walks and boat trips and is operating at a reduced capacity. But we are already seeing a return of interest, if not a return to normal.
They say they’ve received quite a few calls from people looking to make reservations and that weekend walk-in business is stable.
President and CEO Lynn Osmond explains that architecture is the backbone of tourism in Chicago.
âIt really signals the rebirth of what’s going on, both after the great fire, but now the city’s rebirth as we look to the future, after the pandemic,â Osmond said. âAnd it’s fun to see buildings like the St. Regis open up and the Salesforce Tower. So, on the architecture river cruise, there are a lot of new buildings that kind of crept in during the year of the pandemic.
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Returning to Navy Pier, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater is aiming to return to live performances this fall. But in the meantime, they have continued to produce streaming-only online games, like “I, Banquo”.
“The only thing that matters for [us] it’s everyone’s safety and healthâ¦ that’s it, and once we’re allowed to get some larger groups together, I think we’ll happily come together, and we’ll be happy to review the people in this magnificent theater â. said artistic director Barbara Gaines.
Video: Watch our full interview with Barbara Gaines.
On April 30, Navy Pier will follow the city and begin a “phased reopening” of some of its restaurants, shops and attractions.
Video: Watch our full interview with Payal Patel.
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