On Friday, Mayor Bill De Blasio said that New York City will permanently allow restaurants to hold outdoor dining for customers. The city introduced the Open Restaurants program in June, which let over 10,000 restaurants to operate dining outdoors, like streets and sidewalks.
Outdoor Dining Program
Originally, the outdoor dining program will expire by October 31. However, last week, New York City Mayor De Blasio announced through a WNYC public radio show that the program will remain permanent for the entire year.
Outdoor dining in New York City will become permanent. A new program offers a lifeline as many of the city’s restaurants and bars fight to survive. https://t.co/Nm5TmwttoD
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 25, 2020
The Open Restaurants has helped operators and business owners to earn a profit while establishments, like indoor dining, remain shut. Although recently, the city said it will allow indoor dining soon, restaurants can only accommodate limited capacity.
Moreover, the New York Times reported that city officials have said they will expand the outdoor dining program. Restaurants can soon also use adjacent idle public spaces.
However, if the winter comes, outdoor dining could use propane heaters. But, for those planning to enclose their outdoor space, the mayor said that the indoor dining restrictions will apply. It means outdoor dining with enclosure will also observe 25 percent limited capacity.
Restaurants in a Pandemic Setting
As the pandemic happened, most businesses and establishments closed for several months in an effort to curb the virus. However, as cities try to reopen and ease restrictions, restaurants in the cities remain shut.
But with the outdoor dining program, city officials claimed that it has saved about 90,000 jobs involved in dining in the city.
According to Mayor de Blasio, the Open Restaurants worked. He noted that the program supported “a vital industry” and reimagined “our public space.”
“As we begin a long-term recovery, we’re proud to extend and expand this effort to keep New York City the most vibrant city in the world. it’s time for a new tradition,” the city mayor further said, the Times reports.