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Outdoor dining under COVID-19 restrictions - what businesses need to know

News story
Thursday 30 Sep 2021

Updated 25 November 2021

Due to COVID-19 trading restrictions including capacity limits and social distancing requirements, businesses may be looking at ways to boost their trading area by using outdoor space.

Auckland Council has issued guidelines for applying for or extending outdoor spaces and information about applying for Liquor Licensing.

Following our lobbying, no application or rental fees will apply for temporary or temporarily extended food-only outdoor dining areas while restrictions (Level 4-2 or settings Red and Orange) are in place

Outdoor dining support grants up to $1,500 available

Heart of the City is able to support hospitality businesses with outdoor dining support grants of up to $1,500 to enable trading under COVID-19 restrictions. We welcome you to apply for these, please find out more, including how to apply, here. 

Applying for fast-tracked food only outdoor licenses

Auckland Council is fast-tracking applications for food-only outdoor dining using footpaths or other public spaces (like car parks) outside businesses. License application fees and rental fees are being waived for temporary or temporarily extended food-only outdoor dining areas.

To get your temporary application underway or apply to extend your current area, email council’s outdoor dining team:​

Outdoor dining license extensions

Auckland Council will automatically extend the expiry dates for existing food-only outdoor licences at no cost to businesses - In effect, this means you will not pay for these licences for the lockdown period. The extension will last from the start of Alert Level 4 until Auckland returns to Alert Level 1 or level Green, or until 18 February 2022 (whichever is lesser). Businesses do not need to contact Council to receive an extension, it will be applied automatically at the end of the period.

Apply now for liquor licensing for outdoor dining areas

An alcohol license for your outdoor area is a separate application process. These cannot be fast-tracked and there may be processing delays beyond the standard 6 weeks due to COVID. With alert level change timing unknown, if a liquor license is critical to your outdoor dining and you want to make an application, we recommend doing this as soon as possible. To get started, email:

If you have any questions or need more information, please get in touch.