The City of Melbourne's Outdoor Dining Program Has Been Extended Until the End of June
More than 200 outdoor dining parklets have popped up over the past few months.
Melbourne's hospitality businesses have done it tough during the pandemic, with three separate lockdowns severely impacting the industry. They've also weathered some significant changes, including embracing outdoor dining in a big way. Eating outside isn't an unfamiliar concept, of course, but it has been a key part of COVID-safe operating plans for restaurants, cafes and bars (when the city isn't under stay-at-home orders, that is). And, to the surprise of no one, it isn't going anywhere soon.
The City of Melbourne's current outdoor dining program was due to expire on March 31, but the local government body has just announced that the scheme is being extended for three months, running through until the end of June. So, if you've been spending time in all of those parklets that've popped up around town, you'll be able to keep doing so for a little bit longer.
Since the program was set up in line with Melbourne's reopening after the city's second lockdown, nearly 1500 permits have been issued. More than 200 outdoor dining parklets have made their home on Melbourne's streets, laneways, footpaths and on-street car parking spaces, too. Permits are free, with the plan forming part of the City of Melbourne and Victorian Government's $100 million Melbourne City Recovery Fund.
While the onset of Melbourne's chilly winter might seem like a sensible time to roll back the program, it's possible that it'll be extended again, with the city's councillors set to evaluate the scheme and consider the benefits of keeping it going beyond June.
"Businesses can have confidence that outdoor dining will continue in the City of Melbourne until winter," said Lord Mayor Sally Capp in a statement. "We're looking into additional features to support outdoor dining during the cooler months such as weather protection," she continued.
For more information about the City of Melbourne's extended outdoor dining permits, visit the local government body's website. Additional details about the City of Melbourne's COVID-19 response are also available on its the website.
Top image: Good Times by Kate Shanasy
Published on February 17, 2021 by Sarah Ward