Here’s where new outdoor seating is planned for the city centre

Decorators paint Berry's jewellers on Stonegate ahead of the reopening. Photograph: Richard McDougall

Councillor Andrew Waller sasaysid 80 pavement cafe licences have already been granted and seating areas will open in Parliament Street and College Green.

From April 16, York BID will install a further 60 benches in areas including College Green, Exhibition Square, Lunds Court, Library Square and Lawn, Duncombe Place, Esplanade, The Coppergate Centre, New Street, City Screen Riverside and Waterstones.

The pedestrian zone hours will also be extended, from 10.30am to 8pm.

Cllr Waller said it is crucial that residents feel they can visit the city centre safely, adding that Covid marshals and other enforcement officers will be monitoring the arrangements.

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“There have been a lot of efforts to reopen the city and that has required a lot of work,” he said.

“Once the government relaxes the travel restrictions, people will come to York. We recognise how quickly the footfall increased last summer and we are conscious that we need to be ready for that.

“We need to retain the confidence of residents. Some will be a bit reserved about coming back to the city centre.

“It’s about getting the balance right.”