‘I want to get our restaurants and bars reopened as quickly as possible’


Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she wants bars and restaurants to “reopen as quickly as possible” in her city.

“I want to get our restaurants and bars reopened as quickly as possible,” Lightfoot, a Democrat, said this week. “They’ve gone above and beyond to put in mitigation controls inside of the restaurants. I feel very strongly that we are very close to a point when we should be talking about opening up our bars and restaurants.”

Lightfoot argued that in addition to the economic benefits of opening up eating establishments, it would benefit the public to gather at places of businesses that have enacted safety regulations rather than gathering in large groups at home.

“If we have people and give them an outlet for entertainment in the restaurant space, in the bar space, we have much more of an opportunity, in my view, to be able to regulate and control that environment,” Lightfoot explained. “People are engaging in risky behavior that is not only putting themselves at risk but putting their families, their co-workers, and other ones at risk. Let’s bring it out of the shadows. Let’s allow them to have some recreation in restaurants, in bars, where we can actually work with responsible owners and managers to regulate and protect people from COVID-19.”

Lightfoot recently extended Chicago’s coronavirus stay-at-home order until Jan. 22 and suggested that residents report business owners who were defying her order to local law enforcement during the holiday season.

In April of last year, Lightfoot drew national attention when she was spotted getting her hair done in defiance of her own coronavirus restrictions.

“I’m the public face of this city. I’m on national media, and I’m out in the public eye,” Lightfoot said in response to the controversy. “I take my personal hygiene very seriously. As I said, I felt like I needed to have a haircut.”

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