ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation on Friday extending the use of outdoor dining in an effort to improve the restaurant industry’s recovery from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state’s outdoor dining program was extended for three more years to prevent the need for continual renewal by lawmakers.

survey conducted by the New York State restaurant industry in January 2022 found that 74% of operators reported sales volume in 2021 was lower than it was in 2019. Additionally, 55% of restaurant operators had to reduce hours of operation on days they opened and 40% are closed on days they would normally be open, limiting sales.

The National Restaurant Association conducted this survey to understand the current and ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on New York restaurants. Previous legislation, which was signed in July of 2021, had extended the program for one year.