The urban space of the capital is changing during the pandemic to support businesses, the municipality told the Cyprus Mail.
“Following demands by business owners, the municipality gave permission to expand the outdoor seating of businesses in the hospitality industry” an official from the municipality said. The permission, which is temporary, is part of the wider policy of the municipality to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on hospitality industry businesses.
Restaurant owners we interviewed agreed that this works especially well after people have spent so much time indoors during lockdown (also it’s pretty hot).
After being closed for about three months during lockdown, most restaurants and bars inside and outside the Nicosia walls, seek ways to improve their profit. Abiding to the health ministry’s guidelines that allow one person per two square metres outdoors, business sought other ways to fit more customers while social distancing- by expanding their outside seating areas.
More tables are now seen on sidewalks and public spaces, as businesses are desperate to accommodate with safety, as many clients as possible. “We were granted a licence from the municipality to put more tables in the opposite street” the manager of a famous pub in the old town of Nicosia told the Cyprus Mail.
Now there is a cluster of restaurant tables on that street, to the point when, sometimes, one might wonder to which restaurant the tables belong — some are outside a closed optician’s premises.
To prevent chaos, the municipality laid out specific guidelines for the temporary permission. The requirements are related to the fire safety, noise pollution and the maximum number of seats establishments are allowed according to the Covid-19 prevention measures (75 persons outside).
For business owners who wish to put tables in front of another store, the permission of the store’s owner is required.
Another small Nicosia bar that could initially fit only five tables outside with the new requirements, said they made an agreement with a closed store next door and doubled their seats.
While tables are allowed, wooden desks, speakers, signs, tents or any permanent constructions are forbidden, the municipality said.