Navy Pier to begin phased reopening April 30, eight months after closing because of pandemic

The public will be required to wear face masks and practice social distancing.

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Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Navy Pier will begin a phased reopening on April 30, eight months after it closed over the Labor Day weekend because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The following will be accessible to the public, who will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing: Navy Pier parking garages, Polk Bros Park, Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion, North and South Docks, Pier Park (including some rides and attractions), East End Plaza, tour boats and cruises, the Sable hotel, and some restaurants at limited capacity, according to a statement released Tuesday.

Hours of operation will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

The pier was closedSept. 7 after attendance during the summer dropped as much as 20 percent. The shutdown affected more than 70 restaurants, bars and other businesses on the pier.

In announcing the reopening, Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner cited the “mass vaccination rollouts now underway.” Gardner said the following safety measures will be in effect when the pier opens:

  • Guests must wear a face mask at all times while visiting Navy Pier and try to maintain six feet of distance between individuals who are not from the same party. “Those who are sick, have COVID-19 symptoms or diagnosis, or have been exposed to someone with symptoms or diagnosis should stay home or seek medical attention.”
  • “Social Distancing Ambassadors” will be on hand to “cordially remind guests” to practice distancing.The number of people at the indoor and outdoor spaces will be limited “to a number that is proportional and conducive to physical distancing ... Gathering of large groups of more than 10 people are strictly prohibited. Guests in violation of these practices will be subject to removal from the premises.”
  • Face masks or coverings will be required for employees while in public spaces. Temperature screenings will be conducted prior to each shift. Cleaning and disinfecting supplies will be provided to staff.
  • All Pier Park rides and attractions will operate at a limited capacity. Centennial Wheel riders will only be placed in gondolas with those within their party.

To mark the reopening, the pier will stage a 10-minute fireworks show every Saturday in May, at 9 p.m., until the Memorial Day weekend.

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