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Outdoor dining extended to December 31, 2021

More than 400 businesses are licensed to operate through the end of December.

Building on her commitment to support small businesses across Boston’s neighborhoods, today Mayor Michelle Wu announced the extension of the outdoor dining season to December 31, 2021. The extension of outdoor dining on private patios and city streets had previously been set to expire on December 1. 

With today’s announcement, in coordination with the Licensing Board, Boston Fire Department, Inspectional Services Department, Boston Transportation Department, Public Improvement Commission, Disabilities Commission, Public Works, Office of Economic Development, and the Mayor's Office of of Neighborhood Services, Mayor Wu has extended the Temporary Outdoor Dining Program for all restaurants, except for those in the North End, to December 31, 2021.

“Activating public spaces to expand outdoor dining helps bolster our local businesses during pandemic recovery and creates connected communities spaces for residents, visitors, and families. 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 to winter outdoor dining will help our communities stay safe, healthy, and vibrant,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. 

In June, Governor Baker extended a series of waivers, originally enacted during the pandemic, to allow for expanded outdoor dining at restaurants. The City of Boston previously issued local regulations for restaurants with outdoor seating located on private ways and lots and in the public right-of-way, imposing an end date of November 1, 2021 for restaurants in the North End, and December 1, 2021 for all other restaurants. The City has already permitted outdoor dining on public sidewalks to continue until the expiration of state waivers.

The City of Boston’s existing prohibition on tents and similar structures on public property, the prohibition on extension cords running across sidewalks, and requirement for appropriate permitting for propane heaters and fuel storage remain in effect. Snow removal regulations still apply. Restaurants that received portable ramps from the Disabilities Commission can keep them until further notice.

Mayor Wu also announced that she would work with City departments and state legislative partners to implement a longer-term outdoor dining plan for Boston and advance creative placemaking strategies, with clear guidelines to ensure full accessibility, emergency vehicle access, and snow removal.

Pursuant to the revised policy, restaurants in the City of Boston that are currently authorized under the Temporary Outdoor Dining Program may continue operating outdoor dining space, as follows:

  • On private patios until December 31, 2021. 
  • On public streets until December 31, 2021. 

Restaurants in the City of Boston with outdoor seating located on public sidewalks are authorized under the Temporary Outdoor Dining Program until April 1, 2022.

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