Outdoor Dining Season is Back

April 6, 2022

Last month, the legislature approved extending outdoor dining provisions through April 30, 2023.

To help restaurants hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislature had temporarily eased restrictions on how and where outdoor dining can be offered. That law had been set to expire on March 31.

When these provisions were first implemented in 2020, it allowed restaurants to safely stay in business when the number of people allowed inside buildings was restricted, keeping restaurant workers employed and customers safe.

HB 5271

Supporters of this extension (HB 5271) include the Connecticut Restaurant Association and the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. The bill passed overwhelmingly on a bipartisan basis, and was needed so each city and town, and potentially individual restaurants, wouldn't have to seek changes to local ordinances and zoning rules.

The restaurant industry is an important part of our economy, employing thousands of Connecticut residents, and many are locally owned small businesses. Being able to offer outdoor dining is a critical tool to their continued future viability.