Chicago lakefront reopens for first time since start of pandemic

Tue. February 23, 2021 6:07 PM by Kevin Wayne

chicago lakefront reopens

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Ald. James Cappleman: 'I am beyond elated and so are many of my constituents.'

Chicago is reopening the lakefront and hundreds of playgrounds, as COVID-19 metrics continue to improve across the city, the Chicago Park District announced on Tuesday.

“We are thrilled that lakefront, playgrounds and indoor aquatics programs can safely reopen,” said Chicago Park District General Supt. and CEO Michael Kelly. “The District is busy preparing these facilities to open as soon as possible.”

Crews will begin opening public access points to parkland east of Lake Shore Drive. Lakefront Parks will be open during normal operating hours. Regulations on lakefront parking will also be lifted. Parking fees will be required and enforced.

“I am beyond elated and so are many of my constituents. We’re thrilled,” 46th Ward Ald. James Cappleman told Chicago Tribune. Cappleman’s ward includes parts of Lakeview and Uptown, including Montrose Beach.

The lakefront has been closed since March 26, 2020, because of pandemic restrictions. The lakefront trail and 606 trail reopened in June 2020 with new guidelines designed to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus as the city moved into Phase 4 of its reopening plan.

The park district will also reopen its indoor swimming pools to offer limited aquatics programming. Spring registration begins Monday, March 8th.

The city is reminding people to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, including social distancing and mask wearing. Large gatherings are still prohibited.

“Although these restrictions are being lifted, we must continue to be diligent with the safety protocols that have been instrumental in our progress,” said Kelly.

The announcment comes as Chicago on Monday reported a 3.4 test positivity rate — the lowest the city has been since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak.

More information is available at