Mayor Femke Halsema of Amsterdam announced that restaurants, cafes and bars in the city will be allowed to temporarily expand their terraces, so that they can accommodate as many customers as possible under social distancing rules once they are allowed to reopen next week. The catering establishments will have to apply for expansion, and meet a number of conditions.

Terraces will be allowed to extend onto squares, sidewalks, bridge wings, deck barges, parking spaces, along quays, on the opposite side of the road, and in front of adjacent buildings, if the owner gives permissions. Restaurants will be allowed to place umbrellas and heating, to be less dependent on the weather. Restaurants, cafes and other catering businesses will also be allowed to jointly expand their terraces. These joint requests will be given priority to “stimulate cooperation between entrepreneurs”, the municipality said.

Businesses will have to meet a number of conditions before being allowed to expand their terraces. They must be able to show that they consulted with local residents and entrepreneurs, and that they will be able to maintain social distancing. The expanded terrace must be physically connected to an existing terrace or catering business. Entrepreneurs must be able to monitor the entire terrace from their restaurant. And no emergency exits can be blocked. Terraces must also be dismantled after closing, so that it can’t be used by third parties. All coronavirus related measures must be adhered to.

The extension of terraces is temporary and will apply until the end of terrace season, until 31 October 2020. The municipality has the right to change or withdraw extension permits if this prove necessary.