Mayor Wu has just extended the temporary outdoor dining program until December 31st

Food news

However, the extension does not apply to restaurants in the North End.

Outdoor Dining on Newbury Street

Outdoor Dining on Newbury Street. Suzanne Kreiter / Globe Staff

  • Greenhouses at Talulla

    Expanded outdoor dining will continue in Cambridge after COVID-19 relief efforts expire

One week after her inauguration, Mayor Michelle Wu has announced that Boston’s temporary outdoor dining program will be extended to December 31st. The program was originally scheduled to end on December 1st.

“Activating public spaces to expand outdoor dining helps strengthen our local businesses during pandemic recovery and creates connected community spaces for residents, visitors and families,” Wu said in a news release Wednesday. “I’m excited to extend this program through our holiday season and look forward to supporting our small businesses as anchors for our neighborhoods. Expanding on outdoor dining in the winter will help our communities stay safe, healthy and vibrant.”

The extension does not apply to restaurants in the North End, which were required to pack their terraces together on November 1st. Under then-acting mayor Kim Janey, the mayor’s office told Boston.com that the city ended North End’s patio program early due to pre-approved construction projects, high traffic, overall density and parking problems.

Wu’s notice allows restaurants with temporary licenses for outdoor dining to retain their outdoor seating on both private patios and on public streets. Outdoor seating on public sidewalks is able to remain until April 1, when Governor Baker’s COVID-19 relief measures expire.

All eyes are on what will happen in 2022 when these relief measures end. In November, the City of Cambridge announced it would extend some of these relief measures to its outdoor dining policy for the 2022-2023 season. Wu announced that she is also working with city departments to establish a long-term dining solution for Boston, a solution that ensures full accessibility, access to emergency vehicles and snow removal. The city currently offers details on how restaurants can apply permanent outdoor seating on private land.

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