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COVID-19 Changes Coming Soon To A Chicago Business Near You

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Restaurants, hair salons and gyms in Chicago may be opening as soon as next week.

CBS 2 is Working for Chicago, telling your stories as more than a 100,000 people return to their jobs. CBS 2's Vince Gerasole has more.

Though the state is opening up to Phase 3 on Friday, Chicago Mayor Lightfoot said because of its dense population, the city will have to wait a bit longer.

As businesses wait, she released a list of industry specific guidelines to help them prepare to reopen.

At the Denim Lounge, owner David Shelist kept customers outside fulfilling online orders. He knows when the city reopens he'll have to limit inside shoppers to 25% capacity.  It's 50% in the rest of the state, but he'll take what he can get.

"Whatever they require, we are on board. We just need to open our doors," Shelist said.

Mayor Lightfoot said Chicago's dense population warrants the stricter measures across industries.  Some 130,000 people, or about a third of the city's displaced employees, could be heading back to work.

To accommodate safe social distances, the CTA is prepared to add addition buses on prioritized routes as well as increasing sanitation of vehicles and stations.

In offices, workspaces should be separated by solid barriers, reconfigured to allow for distance and masks should be worn when six-foot distancing isn't possible.

For daycare facilities, parents and workers will be required to wear a mask at all times. Masks will be required for children too when they leave their classrooms.

Non-lakefront parks will reopen, but go there and you'll have to wear a mask and maintain a six-foot distance while exercising. Small, social distanced groups will be permitted in open spaces but contact sports will be off limits.

Restaurants are preparing for the return of outdoor dining. Tables must be six-feet apart or separated by a solid barrier when that's not possible and no more than six diners may be seated at a table.

"I am not going to allow more than four people into this store," Shelist said.

He added that the limits are workable to play it safe and get back to business.

"I just want to open the doors and welcome customers back," Shelist said.

Reopening can't come soon enough.  A survey from the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce found business in the pandemic is down 81%. There is still no magic day for reopening.

City Hall said it will continue to watch health metrics and the positivity rate and expect to open, possibly before mid-June.

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