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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants bars, restaurants to reopen for indoor service 'as quickly as possible'

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'I feel very strongly that we are very close to a point where we should be talking about opening our bars and restaurants'

Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Far-left Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she wants bars and restaurants to reopen for indoor service "as quickly as possible," the Chicago Tribune reported.

"I am very, very focused on getting our restaurants reopened. If we look at the various criteria that the state has set, we are meeting most if not all of those," Lightfoot said Thursday, the paper reported, adding that she said she would discuss the matter with Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. "But I want to get our restaurants and our bars reopened as quickly as possible."

What are the details?

The Tribune said it's Pritzker call regarding when bars and restaurants can reopen for indoor service — and while the city can set stricter rules, it can't enact less-stringent rules.

Lightfoot added that restaurants are highly regulated, get inspections, and have gone "above and beyond" to use indoor "mitigation controls," the paper noted.

"They are going to be one of the safer places," she said, according the Tribune.

The mayor also explained reopening bars and restaurants can help turn back the trend of underground parties that spread COVID-19, the paper noted.

"Let's bring it out of the shadows, 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, so I feel very strongly that we are very close to a point where we should be talking about opening our bars and restaurants," Lightfoot declared, according to the Tribune.

More from the paper:

Lightfoot criticized Pritzker in October when he announced that he would be closing indoor service at bars and restaurants due to a spike in coronavirus cases but she later dropped her objection.

In recent months, Lightfoot has attempted to position herself as a friend to bars and restaurants though she has also faced criticism for the city's anti-coronavirus measures, including stricter rules on liquor sales, which she's since rescinded.

The mayor has also been criticized for how she's handled the reopening of Chicago Public Schools amid COVID-19.

Earlier this month, Lightfoot reiterated a stay-at-home advisory telling people not to go out unless it's necessary. Schools are exempt from the advisory, but the Chicago Teachers Union has said the order and reopening schools are contradictory.
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