CHICAGO - Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a temporary public health order on Wednesday prohibiting all liquor sales citywide after 9 p.m. to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Chicago’s communities.
The new measure will go into effect Thursday evening and will cotinue through the remainder of Gov. J.B. Pritzker's stay-at-home order, Lightfoot said.
Lightfoot said the public health order is designed to further ensure all businesses and residents are complying with the stay-at-home order after officials observed people congregating near stores that sell alcohol, particularly during evening hours.
“Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we have taken every possible step to keep our residents safe, and today’s order builds on that effort by further ensuring residents stay at home and therefore, save lives,” Lightfoot said. “Our business owners understand that public safety and public health is more important than profit and I want to thank them for not only their patience during this time but most importantly, their cooperation and partnership to keep our residents safe.”
This measure builds on ongoing enforcement measures by Chicago Police and Business Affairs and Consumer Protection to ensure businesses are compliant with the latest public health measures to keep residents safe. Recent enforcement measures have led to 21 citations issued for up to $120,000 in fines for eight businesses violating the statewide mandate.
Since the stay-at-home order went into effect, Chicago police have given 2,033 dispersal orders in response to large gatherings of residents and has issued 11 citations for up to $5,500 in fines to individuals not adhering to dispersal orders and violating the stay-at-home order. The new public health order will give CPD and BACP enforcement authority to further curb non-compliance, with potential penalties for liquor sales after 9 p.m. including $500 fine, arrest and revocation of liquor and other licenses.
Earlier this week, CPD joined liquor stores on the West Side that agreed voluntarily to close early to encourage people to stay home.
"Nothing is more important than making sure Chicago families are safe and healthy," CPD Interim Superintendent Charlie Beck said. "Liquor stores across the city have already partnered with us to adjust hours and today's order will allow us to expand citywide to further protect Chicagoans from the spread of Covid-19."
Effective March 21, and extended through the end of April, Pritzker’s stay-at-home order mandates that only essential businesses, such as grocery stores, banks and laundromats, continue operating.
The order also created social distancing guidelines that essential businesses are required to follow while in operation.
Details on the Stay at Home Order, including which businesses are considered essential, can be found at www.chicago.gov/coronavirus.