By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — Boston is launching an outdoor dining pilot program for 2021 to support restaurants through the pandemic in the new year.

The program will be similar to the temporary one in place this year, allowing restaurants to expand outdoor seating onto roads and sidewalks. The permitting process will move to a new online platform and there’s free one-on-one help for restaurant owners who need additional support.

READ MORE: Patrick Chung, Former Patriots Safety, Charged With Assaulting Woman

“We saw the benefits that outdoor dining can have on our neighborhoods, bringing vibrant streets to our community and fun experiences for restaurant goers,” Mayor Marty Walsh said at a news conference Thursday.

The 2021 outdoor dining season will begin on April 1 and run through Dec. 1 of 2021. Restaurant who took part in the 2020 program will still need to reapply for next year.

READ MORE: Mask Mandate In Massachusetts Schools Extended Into Jan. 2022

A virtual application help session is planned for Dec. 16 – interested restaurants can sign up on Zoom here.

Click here to see the application for outdoor dining licenses for 2021.

MORE NEWS: Woman Hit, Killed By School Bus In Mattapan Staff