New York City outdoor dining guidelines released for winter

Restaurants will have three options for providing heat for outdoor dining experiences in the winter
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City has released guidance for restaurants planning to stay open and serve customers outdoors during the winter.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the details on Wednesday, that will allow restaurants to continue serving customers during the fall and winter months with heated devices.

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Participants in the Open Restaurants program interested in providing comfort heating for their customers in outdoor dining areas will have three options.

Those options include:

Electric radiant heaters, which will be allowed for sidewalk and roadway seating setups.

Natural gas radiant heaters, which will be allowed on the sidewalk only.

Portable heaters fueled by propane will also only be allowed on the sidewalk. It will be regulated by the fire department.

"These guidelines are designed to keep diners, employees, and pedestrians safe and healthy - and we look forward to giving New Yorkers more chances than ever to enjoy the outdoors year-round," Mayor de Blasio said. "Restaurants make New York City the greatest city in the world, and we're proud to support their continued recovery from this crisis."

Restaurants with private outdoor dining spaces may use heating devices subject to guidance from the FDNY or the DOB.

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Each agency is planning to focus on streamlining the permitting processes to make installing outdoor heating options as easy as possible for businesses, while ensuring proper guidance with safety protocol.

"The Department will work closely with our fellow agencies to ensure that outdoor dining can continue to operate safely for business owners, employees, and customers," Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

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