LISBON — Lisbon will let businesses expand their footprints onto sidewalks, streets and other public spaces to maintain customers’ social distancing required during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under emergency rules approved Tuesday, the town manager and police chief can chose to allow businesses in the village areas to use public space. That could include closing off parking spaces or streets.

“The reality is there’s a fair amount of uncertainty around the trajectory of the illness,” Economic and Community Development Director Brett Richardson said Thursday.

Lisbon is in Andscossgin County where there had been 334 cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday. There have been 2,181 confirmed cases statewide.

Andscossgin County restaurants had expected to open June 1 to limited indoor dining but on May 27, Mills announced she was delaying the reopening of restaurants for dine-in service in Cumberland, York and Androscoggin counties because of rising numbers of new cases and hospitalizations. Only outdoor dining and take-out or delivery is allowed at eateries in those counties.

Mills did not provide a timeline for when restaurants in those counties may open again.

Ross Cunningham of Positive Change Lisbon said the nonprofit hopes to help businesses by providing borrowed picnic tables or tents suitable for conducting business outdoors.

“I think it’s a great opportunity,” said Laura Ingerson, owner of the Sippy Cup Consignment shop on Main Street, which just reopened after an 80-day closure. “We’ve struggled for the past three months so much. I think any type of business promotion would be beneficial for all the small businesses throughout Main Street.”

Customers are coming back to her children’s consignment shop but now she wants to see the restaurants open, and not just because they help draw traffic to the area.

“It’s not fair they continue to struggle when they can provide a clean, safe environment,” she said.

Comments are not available on this story.