Virus Outbreak Outdoor Dining

FILE - Pedestrians walk on a sidewalk past Modern Pastry and outdoor dining areas in the North End in Boston, on May 26, 2021. The city's temporary outdoor dining program — that first took effect in June 2020 to help boost business at restaurants struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic — has been extended to Dec. 31 from Dec. 1. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File)

BOSTON (AP) — Fans of al fresco dining in Boston now have an extra month to enjoy a meal outdoors, Mayor Michelle Wu announced Wednesday.

The city's temporary outdoor dining program — that first took effect in June 2020 under a previous administration to help boost business at restaurants struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic — has been extended to Dec. 31 from Dec. 1, the mayor said in a statement.

The extension applies to private patios and public streets, except for those restaurants on the narrow and crowded streets of the city's North End, where outdoor dining ended Nov. 1.

"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," Wu said.

Expanding winter outdoor dining "will help our communities stay safe, healthy, and vibrant," she said.

Existing prohibitions on tents and similar structures on public property, and 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.

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