Closing Bars and Restaurants Didn’t Stop People From Gathering
Banning indoor dining at bars and restaurants has failed to stop people from gathering together, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot admitted Thursday as she issued a call to reopen those establishments “as quickly as possible.”
It’s been nearly three months since Chicago ordered bars and restaurants to stop indoor service, but the ban has predictably failed to stop people from getting together. As the shutdowns devastated the city food service industry, they also created a black market for socialization. Lightfoot told a local CBS affiliate today that city officials now are seeking ways to cut down on private underground parties.
“People are engaging in risky behavior that is not only putting themselves at risk, but putting their families, their co-workers, and other ones at risk. Let’s bring it out of the shadows,” Lightfoot said. “Let’s allow them to have some recreation in restaurants, in bars, where we can actually work with responsible owners and managers to regulate and protect people from COVID-19.”
Whether Chicago’s bars and restaurants can reopen soon is not entirely up to the mayor. Under rules imposed by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, indoor dining is still banned statewide—though the Democratic governor has signaled that some other COVID-19 restrictions could be lifted soon.
Lightfoot’s comments echo this week’s acknowledgment by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that locking down bars and restaurants is not a sustainable strategy for dealing with COVID-19. As part of his state of the state address, Cuomo warned that New York “simply cannon stay closed” until herd immunity to the virus is achieved. “We will have nothin
Article from Latest – Reason.com