PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Local ordinances prohibiting outdoor dining will continue to be on pause thanks to a new law passed Thursday.

The new measure, sponsored in the R.I. General Assembly by Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee and Sen. Alana DiMario, extends a ban on fining establishments for providing outdoor dining. A moratorium was first put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow businesses to modify how they served food.

“With confusing zoning ordinances that vary from town to town, the process of providing outdoor dining can be costly and overly burdensome on small businesses,” McEntee said in a statement.

The original moratorium was slated to end Saturday. The legislators say the new law will provide a window of relief, extending the moratorium through Feb. 15, 2024. Both McEntee and DiMario have introduced a separate bill to make outdoor dining permanent across the state.