BOSTON (WHDH) - Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Monday announced that Boston restaurants will soon be allowed to host guests for outdoor dining as the industry continues to struggle amid the pandemic.

“We are incredibly grateful for our restaurants, and we know what a struggle it has been for them during this past year,” Walsh said during a news conference at City Hall. “But we have some good news as spring approaches.”

Beginning on April 1 or as soon as the weather permits, eateries in the city can launch their outdoor dining programs for the season, according to Walsh.

“Outdoor dining contributes to a vibrant, welcoming city, and we’ve seen the benefits outdooring has had on our neighborhoods: supporting local businesses, a safe and enjoyable experience for restaurant patrons, and an added resource for Boston’s small businesses during this challenging time,” Walsh said. “Boston has worked hard to ensure this is an accessible, streamlined process for businesses, and I look forward to the 2021 outdoor dining season starting this spring.”

Parking restrictions and street closures will be utilized to free up space for dining at some restaurants that need additional space.

Applications for outdoor dining licenses on both public and private property are now open, and businesses can apply online.

Walsh noted that the city has received hundreds of applications, many of which have already been approved.

Outdoor dining launched last year after many safety precautions were put into place to minimize the transmission of COVID-19.

The outdoor dining season came to end in December when the weather started to get colder.

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