Over 1,100 Amsterdam cafe owners allowed to expand their terraces
Many bars, cafes and restaurants in Amsterdam took advantage of the opportunity to temporarily expand their terraces. On top of the 1,065 terrace expansions from 2020 that were given permission to expand until at least the end of October 2021, over 100 new requests were approved this year.
The measure was put forward last year to help struggling hospitality businesses during the pandemic cope with limitations on hosting customers indoors before they were ordered last October to close their businesses to all customers except those placing takeaway orders. The hospitality businesses were finally allowed to partially reopen their terraces on April 28, a decision which was expanded a few weeks later.
In total, 1,175 catering businesses in Amsterdam have been permitted to welcome guests on squares, sidewalks, bridge wings, parking spaces and quays close to their establishment. "The city is cautiously reopening and that includes full terraces. I hope that catering entrepreneurs can make up for their losses a little and that we can leave a dark period behind us together," wrote Mayor Femke Halsema in a statement.
This year the municipality looked to approve the requests whenever safely possible to help out. Business owners do not have to pay extra taxes for the extension of their terraces.
“Wherever possible, we permit terraces, such as on bridges and parking spaces. In this way, the over 1,100 business owners can easily comply with the 1.5-meter distance rule while generating a higher turnover”, said Victor Everhart, the city's alderman for economic affairs.
The permits that were issued by the municipality this year expire on October 31, 2021. Business owners will only be allowed to extend their terraces as long as the surrounding public spaces do not become too crowded.
"I already went to look at a few terraces in the Jordaan", Halsema said. "I hope to soon see more: on to a beautiful summer."