Ducey signs order to allow restaurants to expand outdoor dining space

Dec 2, 2020, 4:25 PM | Updated: 4:27 pm
(AP Photo/Christopher Weber)...
(AP Photo/Christopher Weber)
(AP Photo/Christopher Weber)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed an executive order Wednesday that allows restaurants to expand their outdoor dining space in an effort to slow the coronavirus spread.

Establishments will be able to extend their dining areas to public areas temporarily with the intention of spacing out customers and lowering wait times.

Previously, restaurants couldn’t extend their boundaries and they were limited to the amount of space for which they could extend.

“Transforming operations for our restaurants isn’t easy and it certainly isn’t cheap, especially during a pandemic that’s been a challenge of a lifetime for our local and small businesses,” Ducey said during a press conference.

“That’s why today I am issuing an executive order that will allow restaurants to pass sidewalks and other rights-of-way cutting red tape.”

Ducey also provided additional funding aimed at helping restaurants transform their dining areas.

He allocated $1 million for the Safest Outside Restaurant Asssistance Program, which will go toward expanding outdoor dining options.

The Arizona Restaurant Association is getting $100,000 to fund the expansion of outdoor dining.

Steve Chucri, president and CEO of the Arizona Restaurant Association, said the industry has lost more than $2 billion in revenue since the start of the pandemic.

“We are slowly recovering and I am pleased to tell you that those numbers are getting far better and it’s because of the measures we have taken,” Chucri said during the press conference.

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Ducey signs order to allow restaurants to expand outdoor dining space