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NEW YORK — Restaurants will be allowed to open with outdoor seating on Monday as New York City enters the second phase of easing coronavirus restrictions.

The outdoor seating plan will provide a lifeline for New York’s crucial restaurant industry, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.

For New Yorkers, restaurants are “part of our identity,” the mayor added.

De Blasio said restaurateurs will be able to go online starting Friday to apply to open with seating on the sidewalk, in a backyard patio or using parking spaces.

Officials clarified guidelines for restaurants to utilize outdoor spaces:

  • Sidewalk seating: Must maintain clear path from obstructions between seating and the curb
  • Curb lane seating: Roadway seating will not exceed length of business frontage and be separated from the travel lane with a barrier (barricade, planter)
    • Restrictions on areas ineligible for roadway seating include ‘No Standing Anytime’ curbs, bus stops, within 15’ of hydrants
  • Open streets: DOT will work with groups and partner agencies to identify additional seating within full street closures in July
  • Plaza Seating: Restaurants can work with their local Business Improvement District and DOT to request additional seating in plazas. Email:
  • Alcohol: May be served outdoors under existing liquor license
  • City will work with State Liquor Authority to automatically extend licenses to new seating

To help businesses reopen, the city is distributing another two million face coverings to Phase 2 businesses and connecting business owners with a directory of wholesalers selling sneeze guards, PPE and other equipment. Click here for more information.

He estimated that 5,000 restaurants employing 45,000 workers would be able to open starting next week.

De Blasio announced New York City is ready to enter Phase 2, beginning Monday. Under Phase 2, offices, in-store retail, real estate, outdoor dining, and hair salons and barbershops are among the businesses able to reopen. The city estimates about 150,000 to 300,000 workers will initially return during this phase.

A hotline and website have been set up to help small businesses enter Phase 2.

Call 1-888-SBS-4NYC or visit