Gov Signs Bill Allowing Eateries To Continue Outdoor Dining

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Gov. Dan McKee has signed into law legislation allowing restaurants to continue to use COVID-19 modifications, including outdoor dining and takeout windows.

The legislation imposes a moratorium on the enforcement of any municipal ordinance or zoning requirement that would penalize restaurants and bars for modifications made in response to emergency orders from state or local officials. The moratorium is effective until next April 1.

It also allows eateries and bars to apply to make the changes permanent.

State Sen. Alana DiMario, a Narragansett Democrat who sponsored the bill, has said the relief is essential for restaurants and bars still struggling to recover from the pandemic.

The bill, which was also sponsored by state Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee, a South Kingstown Democrat, became law earlier this month.

McKee plans to hosting ceremonial signing Monday with the two lawmakers and others at Meldgie’s Diner in Narragansett.