New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has made the Open Restaurants Program, which allows restaurants in the city to extend seating onto streets, sidewalks, and public spaces, permanent following the coronavirus pandemic.
The Open Restaurants Program, which has seen outdoor dining spaces pop up across the city, will boost the capacity of restaurants as they open indoor dining at 50 percent capacity as New York gradually reopens after the coronavirus lockdown.
Under the scheme, eateries are allowed to extend seating onto sidewalks and roadways, or onto adjacent outdoor spaces with their neighbours' consent. Establishments must follow a list of requirements for an Open Restaurant design, which include a clear path on the pavement, a maximum distance from the curb and a required height of enclosing barriers.
De Blasio's extension will also introduce guidelines for restaurants to heat outdoor areas during the colder winter months, which will be released by the end of September.