With the province about to "reopen" again soon, Alberta's restaurants will have to make some huge changes. One city is helping by letting restaurants take over the sidewalks for pop-up patios. There's going to be tons of new outdoor dining spaces when Calgary reopens this summer, and it'll be like one giant patio party.

In a city council meeting on Monday, May 11, officials passed plans that will allow businesses to spill their seating areas out of the store and onto the roads and sidewalks.

Businesses can apply for free temporary permits to turn their sidewalks, even streets and parking lots, into patios. All they need is to plop down chairs and tables onto the immediate public road or sidewalk outside, according to a document from the meeting.

They can stay up until the province moves into Stage Three of its reopening plan.

Even though the reopening day is coming up on Thursday, May 14, businesses are still in a tight spot — restaurants are only allowed to hold 50% of their total capacity. But with outdoor patios, they'll be able to take more customers.

Their patio plan allows businesses "to have more capacity while still doing physical distancing, particularly outdoors which may be a bit safer," said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi during the meeting.

Even though restaurants will be taking over the streets, the city says they're still watching out for traffic and making sure it doesn't get too wild.

To get a permit, the business will have to promise they'll watch and make sure the streets are still accessible by passersby, have proper insurance, and more.

Alberta is slowly reopening in a multi-phased plan, with phase one starting as early as Thursday, May 14.

Bars and pubs are opening too, but you can't order at the bar anymore — instead, they'll bring your drinks to your table.

But with so little time, many owners have been confused about what exactly they can or cannot do.

With the snow finally stopping and the sun peaking back up, it's near-perfect timing to set up these patios. Soon we'll be able to stay safe while supporting local businesses and getting fresh air, all at once.

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