Chicago lakefront could be shut down again after 'reckless' behavior at Montrose Beach, Lightfoot warns

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Saturday, August 8, 2020
Chicago mayor threatens to shut down lakefront again
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot threatened to shut the lakefront down again after she made a visit Saturday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's lakefront was crowded again this weekend as new COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the city.

RELATED: Illinois COVID-19 cases surpass 2K for 2nd day in a row

Mayor Lori Lightfoot threatened to shut the lakefront down again after she visited it in person Saturday.

Large crowds were seen packed all along the lakefront Saturday afternoon. An ABC7 viewer shared an image of another large group of people, not social distancing and many without face masks.

Chicago police turned multiple cars away from getting into Montrose Beach Saturday as officers told would-be beach and park-goers it was closed. Crowds were also dispersed at the lakefront near Belmont after police started to clear the area.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot made her own visit to Montrose Beach on Saturday, sharing a photo with a warning. She tweeted: "It's called a pandemic, people. This reckless behavior on Montrose Beach is what will cause us to shut down the parks and lakefront. Don't make us take steps backwards."

The mayor's warning comes a day after the city gave the OK for 13 of Chicago's lakefront restaurants to reopen. Since beaches remain closed, customers will also have to stay off the sand.

RELATED: River North street dining expands, more lakefront restaurants reopen

Chicago restaurants east of Lake Shore Drive are now allowed to reopen with COVID-19 guidelines.

Chicago health officials said last week, social gatherings were the top cause driving up COVID case numbers in the city.

The mayor followed up in a second social media post that she will be addressing the issue. Several squad cars were seen patrolling the lakefront Saturday evening.