CHICAGO - At the stroke of midnight, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will make good on a promise to re-enact COVID restrictions.
The rules will affect gyms, salons and bars -- especially bars without any outdoor seating space, as they will have to close back down.
And with that, there is a trickledown effect.
“It's not going to be easy and we're here and we're going to fight through it as best we can, but the challenge is daunting at this point,” said Kevin Cary, owner of Begyle Brewing.
Cary considers himself lucky that his brewery is situated on a parking lot where he can set up outdoor tables. But starting Friday, many of the bars and taverns that buy from Begyle Brewing, that don't have the luxury of outdoor space, will have to shut down once again.
“Bars and taverns that carry our cans or draft are heavily impacted by this roll-back tomorrow,” Cary said.
It is all because Chicago’s seven-day "rolling average" number of COVID cases is now trending in the wrong direction.
“We are just over that 200 case a day mark, which means we’re in the high incident state. And that’s why…we pulled back a little bit on some of the re-opening that we did have in place in a surgical way, hoping to get us back down under that 200 mark. And keep our outbreak broadly in control,” said Dr. Allison Arwady of the Chicago Department of Public Health.
Starting Friday, the maximum number of people allowed at a table drops from 10 to six. With rules like that back in place, Cary worries many local bars and taverns will not be able survive, especially when the weather gets colder.
“It's a tough spot to be in. As a lot of bars and taverns, they generate their revenue for the year right now, in the summer,” he said.
Also starting Friday, gyms have to lower their maximum indoor class sizes from 50 to 10.
In addition, any personal services that cannot be done with a mask on -- like professional shaves, facials, and makeup artists -- will have to cease operating until further notice.