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City of Marco Island is allowing restaurants to use four parking spaces to expand their outdoor seating capacity as the state continues to allow private businesses to reopen, according to a city news release.

"In order to ensure the safety of diners there must be 30 inches high precast concrete Jersey style barriers, pinned to the asphalt, separating seating area from vehicle use area," according to the release sent May 8.

Restaurants may not expand outdoor seating in front of neighboring businesses without prior written consent from the owner and they must meet all city, county and state requirements.

The city may revoke a restaurant's temporary outdoor dining for failure to comply with these rules or with social distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Social distancing, also called physical distancing, means staying at least six feet from other people, not gathering in groups, staying out of crowded places and avoiding mass gatherings, according to the CDC's website.

The temporary expansion of outdoor seating will remain in effect until the state allows restaurants and food establishments to operate at 100% of their approved occupancy, according to the release.

Reporter Patrick Riley with the Naples Daily News reported on May 6 that Collier County would allow "certain restaurants to apply for a temporary use permit to expand the areas available to offer outdoor seating."

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced April 29 that restaurants could start serving food outdoors, John Kennedy with USA TODAY NETWORK reported. His order also allow restaurants to have indoor dining at 25% of their approved occupancy.

On March 20, Gov. DeSantis ordered restaurants to close their dining rooms as COVID-19 cases piled up, Sarajane Sullivan and Annabelle Tometich with the Daily reported.

Contact Omar Rodríguez Ortiz at omar.rodriguezortiz@naplesnews.com, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram as @Omar_fromPR. Support his work by subscribing to Naples Daily News.

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