It's official: Chicago's lakefront reopens, but masks and social distancing still required

Chicagoans have been waiting for this news for almost a year: the lakefront is finally in the process of re-opening.

FOX 32 reported the barriers were quietly re-opened Monday night, but on Tuesday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Park District made it official.

Eleven months after shutting down Chicago’s front yard, it is back. The park district announced it will gradually start re-opening park land east of the lakefront trail, city parks will resume their normal hours, and restrictions on parking near the lake front has been lifted.

"So it's certainly I think appropriate under these circumstances particularly where we in the arc of our virus," Lightfoot said. "We're at the lowest positivity rate as a city that we've ever been since the pandemic came to our shores."

Another benefit of that low positivity rate is an ease-up on travel restrictions. Sixteen states, including Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan, have all graduated from orange to yellow, meaning no quarantine, or pre-arrival COVID tests are required.


Masks and social distancing are still required on the lakefront and at parks, and large gatherings remain prohibited.

Registration for spring park district programs starts March 8th. Those programs start in early April, along with the re-opening of indoor pools.