Chicago museums to reopen, indoor dining could resume in 'a few days'

With COVID-19 restrictions loosening up in Chicago, places like the Shedd Aquarium are getting ready to reopen their doors.

As for bars and restaurants, indoor service is still closed. But the commissioner of the city's department of public health hints that could change in a matter of days.

"We're still a few days, it could be a week away from this. But if progress continues in the right way, I think it is likely that we may be able to move all the way to the Tier 1 mitigation, which is when we are able to reopen indoor dining," said Dr. Allison Arwady.

But for now, the city is in Tier 2 mitigations, which means movie theaters, performance venues and indoor recreation can reopen at limited capacity.

Museums can reopen at 25% capacity.

"We can't wait to welcome everybody back," said Shedd Aquarium spokesperson Andrea Rodgers.

The Shedd Aquarium will reopen to the general public on January 30th, after being closed since mid-November.

"We have a massive air filtration system, hourly cleaning protocol, social distancing, required facial covering," Rodgers said.


In addition, under Tier 2, indoor fitness classes can resume with 10 people or less. That is a relief for the chief operating officer of Studio Three, whose indoor fitness classes will be up and running on Thursday -- the first time in about two months.

"Our members have flooded our emails, calls, they're all really excited to get back," said Laura Cieplik.

When they do, they will be greeted with a temperature check and a UV sanitizing station.

"Very excited to bring people back in safely, of course, and feel a little bit normal again," Cieplik said.

Sue the T. rex and the rest of the dinosaurs at the Field Museum are about to start seeing visitors again.

Two months after the famed natural history museum on Chicago’s lakefront closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the museum will once again open its doors this week.

Thursday and Friday are members-only days and the general public will be allowed inside starting Saturday. Then on Monday and Thursday of next week, Illinois residents will be allowed inside for free.

The museum is reminding visitors that all the precautions that were in place before it shut its doors late last year will be enforced. That means visitors must wear masks and practice social distancing and the museum will again allow fewer visitors.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.