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CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago will soon reopen access to its lakefront, playgrounds and indoor aquatic programs, as COVID-19 metrics continue to improve across the city, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in an announcement early Tuesday.

The gates blocking Montrose Harbor were actually reopened last Friday so city trucks could dump snow back there, but the gates remained open to the general public.

Chicago Park District crews will now begin opening public access points to parkland east of Lake Shore Drive.

Restrictions on parking will also be lifted.

During the upcoming weeks, the park district will also start unlocking gates and prepare more than 500 outdoor playgrounds and nature play spaces for reopening.

The city will also reopen indoor swimming pools to limited programming. Registration for the spring season starts March 8.

RELATED: Chicago lakefront could be shut down again after 'reckless' behavior at Montrose Beach, Lightfoot warns

The lakefront east of Lake Shore Drive has been officially closed since March 26, 2020, because of pandemic restrictions.

The lakefront trail reopened in June 2020 for those who kept moving.

This full reopening comes as COVID-19 cases in Chicago continue to drop.

The city is still asking people to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, including social distancing and mask wearing.

More information is available at

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Liam Hemsworth, girlfriend Gabriella Brooks hit the beach

It was a dog day afternoon.

Liam Hemsworth and girlfriend Gabriella Brooks hit the beach in Australia on Wednesday with his dog Dora and the French bulldog they adopted together.

The “Hunger Games” actor, 31, and the bikini-clad model, 22, appeared to have fun chasing their pooches along the sandy shore and into the water, and at one point, cuddled up to each other for a warm embrace.

Liam Hemsworth and girlfriend Gabriella Brooks have been dating for over a year. Media-Mode /

The couple of more than a year have gotten serious in recent months. Hemsworth even brought Brooks along as his date to his brother Luke Hemsworth’s birthday party in November, where the whole family was in attendance.

Hemsworth and Brooks got together following his divorce from Miley Cyrus. Brooks previously dated Matt Healy, the frontman for British pop-punk group The 1975. Healy since has moved on with FKA Twigs.

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