Phase 3 of opening up begins in city Wednesday after days of protests

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By Jessica D’Onofrio, ABC7 News

Chicago is moving into Phase 3 of reopening under Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan Wednesday, despite the damage from looting and unrest over the past several days in wake of the death of George Floyd.

Mayor Lightfoot said business owners around Chicago urged her to move ahead with the move into Phase 3.

Access is also being restored to the downtown area and lowering the bridges across the Chicago River Wednesday morning.

Still, many remain skittish about reopening, including Issues Barber Shop and Beauty Salon. The owner Yvenetta Welch is waiting to see if the unrest caused by George Floyd’s death dissipates.

“I’m just not sure,” Welch said. “I’m not really sure at this time because of all the looting and everything.”

The mayor promised more recovery money for businesses and more police presence so people can feel safer as they venture out.

“I want every business in Chicago to hear me,” Lightfoot said. “And when I say that, we are 110% dedicated to us successfully reopening safely and securely and getting back up on your feet.”

The mayor promised high visibility police patrols downtown and in other restaurant corridors so people who want to dine out can feel safe sitting outside, which will be allowed in Phase 3.

Here is what to expect in Chicago Wednesday:

Outdoor dining only will reopen with restrictions along with hair salons and barber shops. Businesses previously deemed non-essential can reopen with restrictions.

Gatherings of 10 or fewer are now allowed along with outdoor recreation, gyms and youth sports and day camps.

The mayor is calling Phase 3 “cautiously reopening” and she is encouraging people to shop local and support those businesses trying to get back on their feet in the midst of the unrest.

Mayor Lightfoot said the city would also be continuing with the shared streets program.

While the city moves forward with reopening, Chicago will still have a curfew until further notice, going into effect at 9 p.m. and expiring at 6 a.m.

This article originally appeared in ABC7 News.

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