Mayor Lightfoot Announces Curfew On Liquor Sales Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

WBBM Newsradio Staff
April 08, 2020 - 1:18 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Mayor Lightfoot announced Wednesday a curfew on liquor sales in Chicago for the remainder of the stay-at-home order.

The curfew begins Thursday, April 9 and bans liquor sales after 9 p.m. in the City of Chicago.

"Since even before the COVID-19 crisis arrived in Chicago, we have taken every possible step to keep our residents safe and protected. From our initial measures, like increased air travel screenings, to more recent actions, like the transformation of McCormick Place, none of this has been easy and all of it has disrupted our lives in some way or another, and many times place significant strains on our residents and our businesses, but everything we have done has been with the single-minded goal of saving lives, ending this crisis, and getting our city back on track as soon as possible," Lightfoot said.

"It is in that same spirit that I am announcing that effective tomorrow [Thursday], April 9, we are placing a 9 o'clock p.m. curfew on liquor sales in Chicago."

The liquor curfew will remain in place for the duration of Governor Pritzker's stay-at-home order.

"I want to be clear on this, like our closure of the lakefront two weeks ago, this is not punitive, it is protective. Nonetheless, as with our lakefront closure, we are putting this curfew in place because too many individuals and businesses have been violating the stay-at-home order. An order which was put in place to keep us safe from this pandemic and to save lives," Lightfoot said.

In addition to prohibiting liquor sales after 9 p.m., the order gives the Chicago Police Department and BACP the power to further curb non-compliance. That includes powers to fine, arrest, and revoke liquor licenses and other licenses, if one refuses to comply.

"We are not messing around with this," Lightfoot said.

On Tuesday, Chicago saw its most violent day of 2020, with 21 shot and seven killed. Mayor Lightfoot shared words about Chicago's gun violence and how it is affecting the fight against COVID-19.

"Unfortunately the epidemic of gun violence continues to plague us every day, every hour of the day," Lightfoot said. "Just taking yesterday as an example, a warm day where people came outside. Individual trigger pullers slaughtered people in a totally heinous way. This level of violence is never acceptable, never ever. Shooting into crowds without any regards to the consequences is the most heinous form cowardice."

She said the actions place additional and unnecessary burdens on the city's hospitals and intensive care units. 

"Violence of any kind is never acceptable, but the fact that this is especially urgent now, as our ability to treat all Chicagoans is being stretched to the breaking point, we cannot allow this to happen, and we will not allow this to happen," Lightfoot said. "People know who the shooters are, you know who you are, these cowards cannot be given any shelter. In the middle of this worldwide pandemic, our precious health resources need to be treating COVID patients and those needing acute care...

"To be blunt, if our ICU is filled with gunshot victims, our ability to respond to this COVID-19 crisis will necessarily be compromised," Lightfoot said. "Just this week we talked about the disproportionate burden that black Chicago is facing with infections and deaths related to COVID-19. These same communities continue to be plagued by gun violence. I am here to say enough, enough, enough. Our whole city focus must be on saving lives from all public health crises - whether it is the pandemic or the epidemic of gun violence."

Mayor Lightfoot also announced the death of two more city employees to COVID-19. The first being Chicago firefighter Mario Araujo, a veteran of the department for nearly 17 years and longtime member of Truck 25. The second was a member of Department of Assets, Information and Services (AIS), who also served the City of Chicago for many years.

"Both of these individuals serviced our city proudly and we honor their dedication to public service," Lightfoot said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.