NYC unveils plan for expanded outdoor dining

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan that would give restaurants more space for outdoor dining after the city reopens.

New York City is set to enter phase one of reopening on June 8 and outdoor dining is now permitted in phase two, as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday, reports Xinua news agency.

De Blasio said at his daily briefing on Thursday that he expected New York City to enter phase two as early as the beginning of July, when the city will allow temporary use of open space for restaurants to maintain social distancing while at the same time maximizing their customer base.

According to the plan, restaurants can set tables in the curbside and sidewalks, and those along the 100-mile open streets developed by the city can use the space in front of their establishments.

Various regulations will be applied to specific situations.

The City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, and the Department of Transportation will monitor the success of this program and will step in if it creates concerns, according to a statement issued by the mayor’s office on Thursday.

“Our restaurant owners need help now more than ever and have shared their concerns about traditional practices. This plan will enliven our commercial corridors and provide businesses with a much-needed opportunity to generate further revenue while maintaining safety,” said Jonnel Doris, commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services, in the statement.

Seven of 10 regions in New York State have stepped into phase two of reopening, during which real estate companies, vehicle sales, hair salons, outdoor and take-out food service, among others, are allowed to restart operating.

New York City is the only region in the state that is still under the “PAUSE” order due to COVID-19 with all non-essential businesses closed.