Restaurant terraces may be temporarily enlarged

Fri, 22. May. 2020

The protection concepts for restaurants have the effect that fewer guests can be served. Prefects of the Canton of Berne have therefore agreed that hotels and restaurants may expand their outdoor service areas without a building permit.

Since last week, many restaurants have resumed operations and reopened their doors. Because of the strictly defined distances between tables there is room for fewer guests.

The prefects of the Canton of Berne have reacted and decided that hotels and restaurants may temporarily enlarge their outdoor service areas without a building permit as long as the Covid-19 measures apply.

Regulations are fairly straightforward. For example, the total number of outside seats approved to date may not be exceeded. Additional noise or other emissions must be avoided. The extension will only be possible if the municipality and the land owner agree to it. Furthermore, no other public interests, such as traffic safety, may be impaired.

In order to receive permission to extend the outdoor area, the restaurant has to submits a written request for enlarged outdoor service areas to the municipality. The municipality forwards it to the prefect's office. If the requirements are met, the office will issue a simple confirmation to the restaurant, which is valid until the Covid-19 measures are lifted.

Prefect Michael Teuscher emphasises that permits will be issued in an uncomplicated and speedy manner.

Based on AvS/Jenny Sterchi

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