MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire has extended all parklet permits until 30 April.
It says the move follows consultation with traders and “positive feedback” from residents and visitors.
The extended outdoor dining program allowed traders to temporarily use car parking spaces for outdoor dining in towns and shopping areas from Mount Eliza to Sorrento.
The outdoor dining areas were separated from roads with fences, planter boxes and decking.
The shire says most of the 400 people asked in a January survey in Rosebud, Mount Eliza and Mornington gave the parklets a score of either nine or 10 (out of 10) and wanted them to be kept in place longer.
It found that cafes and restaurants lost about 40 per cent of capacity due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, with the parklets able to return 90 per cent of that lost seating capacity.
“Parklets have been a fantastic feature of our summer and can now be enjoyed until after Easter at no additional cost to traders,” the mayor Cr Despi O’Connor said.
“While we have been fortunate to have had relatively few restrictions, there is still a need to social distance and remain COVID safe. Extending the parklets program will support our traders and allow us to continue to dine outdoors through autumn.”
Traders wanting to return to normal trading conditions can pack the parklets up earlier by notifying the shire so that signs or infrastructure can be removed.