The Chicago Park District announced that the city's lakefront and playgrounds had officially reopened as COVID-19 metrics continue to ease, as Hyde Parkers took to the open air to enjoy a warm-up after a prolonged period of sub-freezing temperatures.
In a statement, Park District District General Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly said that, while authorities are preparing facilities to open as soon as possible and restrictions are being lifted, Chicagoans must continue being diligent with safety protocols.
While the lakefront itself was closed throughout the first wave of COVID-19 in the city, beaches have been closed up to this point and patrons have been instructed to keep moving along the Lakefront Trail, residents have been observed idling along the lakefront throughout the pandemic.
Nevertheless, as snow removal and clean up from recent storms continue, regulations on lakefront parking will now be lifted, and parking fees will be required and enforced. Masks will continue being mandatory. Large gatherings are still prohibited, and social distancing must be observed all the time.
Playgrounds, which had been officially closed, are now open, though officials warned that they will not be sanitized.
Registration for spring Park District programming begins on Monday, March 8. Programming runs from April 5 through June 13. Space will be limited to allow for social distancing.