Some COVID Restrictions Relaxed In Chicago

It may just be the biggest relaxing of COVID-19 rules in the city of Chicago. Travel restrictions relaxed for the states Chicagoans visit most. CBS 2’s Chris Tye reports.

Video Transcript

- Well, it may just be the biggest relaxing of COVID-19 rules we've seen in the Chicago city. Travel restrictions easing for the states Chicagoans visit most. Let's get to CBS2's Chris Tye who is live along the lake at North Avenue. Chris, these aren't the only rules being relaxed?

CHRIS TYE: That's right. And there's a lot of news on this front today, Erica. We have a hard date for when aquatic centers will open in the city of Chicago. Good news for Chicagoans who are regular visitors to Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan, and for those who are lovers of Chicago's lakefront.

In a year of drips and drabs of pandemic restrictions, brighter news today of rules relaxing.

- But we are seeing major progress here in Chicago and across the country.

CHRIS TYE: Visitors to Chicago will have it easier. A total of 18 states now shifted from orange to less restrictive tier yellow. Today, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan joined that list. Visitors to Chicago from yellow states do not have to quarantine or test upon arrival.

Also today, the city announcing the lakefront and 500 playgrounds will begin to reopen in coming weeks as the snow melts and crews make them resident ready. And we learned the aquatic centers of Chicago now have the green light to reopen after almost a year. April 5th is when swimming will resume there.

For a lot of people, these relaxation of rules feel like the biggest thawing to date. Would you put it that way?

EMILY LANDON: Oh, I do think this feels really good. I'm super optimistic. I do want to keep a caveat in place though that there is the risk of these new variants or somewhere on the horizon.

CHRIS TYE: She says swimming for exercise is OK. But kids and recreational indoor swimming isn't recommended. And while some states are now in yellow mode because of improving numbers, she says this about a looming spring break trip.

EMILY LANDON: You want to have a little bit higher bar before you go on one of these kinds of vacations where you're spending time with a lot of other people, where you can't avoid indoor places where you're unmasked.

CHRIS TYE: And what keeps Dr. Landon up at night are those variants of the virus. She says the big three remain true today as it did on day one of this pandemic: wash your hands, keep distance, and wear masks. And if you're going to plan any kind of travel, be very thoughtful before beginning it. Live at North Avenue Beach, Chris Tye, CBS2 News.