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A letter from Rosa Escareno, BACP Commissioner.

May 29, 2020 Dear Chicagoan, Yesterday, Mayor Lightfoot announced that the City of Chicago is on track to Cautiously Reopen on Wednesday, June 3rd. Under phase three of the Protecting Chicago reopening framework, many industries can start reopening on June 3rd under strict social distancing restrictions and industry-specific guidelines. In the meantime, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) Commissioner has issued a public health order stating that the City’s existing public health guidelines will remain in place until June 3rd. The full list of industries that can reopen along with the industry-specific guidelines can be found at Please also visit that site for FAQs, postings and additional guidance on business operations. To demonstrate your commitment to reopening safely, businesses are strongly encouraged to complete the “Be Safe. Chicago” pledge. This self-certification gives business owners the opportunity to review the guidelines in detail and verify their ability to open safely and responsibly beginning on June 3rd. Please complete this survey to earn your “Be Safe. Chicago” badge and show your customers that you are committed to opening safely. During phase three, establishments that serve food may reopen for outdoor dining only. Businesses must have a Retail Food License in order to operate outdoors and establishments that do not serve food, such as bars and lounges, must remain closed for any on-site consumption. Outdoor dining can include alcohol service, provided that the location has the proper liquor licenses. Alcohol sales for on-site consumption will be allowed until 11 p.m., while the 9 p.m. liquor sale curfew will remain in place for carry out and delivery of liquor products. Additionally, the City is working on local legislation to allow for the sale of mixed cocktails to-go in Chicago. Please note that the sale of mixed drinks to-go is not currently permissible. Food-serving establishments may open sidewalk cafes, outdoor patios, rooftops, rooms with retractable roofs and indoor spaces where 50% or more of a wall can be removed via the opening of windows, doors, or panels provided that dining tables are within 8-ft from such openings. Tables must be six feet apart, with no more than six people per table and ten people per gathering. Please read the industry guidelines for more details, and click here for more information on how to obtain a sidewalk café permit. In addition to the existing outdoor dining options, today Mayor Lightfoot announced 6 corridors that will pilot expanded outdoor dining in the streets. After this initial pilot launches, we will evaluate expanding programming to other areas in the City. Beginning Monday, June 1, chambers of commerce, Special Service Areas (SSAs), business associations and restaurants in groups of three or more can visit the City website to submit an application for Expanded Outdoor Dining. This will allow for existing, fully licensed Retail Food Establishments to temporarily use streets or private property for outdoor dining and drinking. Businesses that are looking for more information about expanding outdoor capacity should reach out to their local chamber of commerce or visit beginning June 1st. To help business owners navigate the array of outdoor dining options, BACP has created an outdoor dining FAQ. During Phase Three, other establishments that were previously closed, such as non-essential retail, personal services and gyms, may reopen under strict guidelines. Non-essential retail must cap capacity at 25%. Personal services, such as nail/hair salons, tattoo parlors, or massage establishments, must also limit capacity to 25% and ensure 6 feet between all clients. Health and fitness centers can reopen for indoor 1:1 training only, or outdoor classes with 10 or fewer participants. Please visit or click the links below for the industry-specific guidelines. To support businesses and answer questions, BACP is holding industry-specific webinars next week. To register, visit Industry-specific guidelines:

Sincerely, Rosa Escareno BACP Commissioner

City of Chicago Business Affairs and Consumer Protection 121 N. LaSalle St., Room 805 Chicago, IL 60602  312-74-GOBIZ


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