Belfast City Council has changed its rules so that it can continue to meet virtually - just two weeks before the legislation was set to expire.
This newspaper revealed last week that the future of meetings was up in the air, with officials scrambling to ensure the expiration date of May 7 did not pass without a resolution.
In March 2020 when the pandemic hit, the Coronavirus Act 2020 was given Royal Assent. Under Section 78 of the legislation, councils here were permitted to meet virtually, via apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
As the legislation is time-limited and was passed via Westminster, differing speeds of England and Northern Ireland exiting lockdown meant the oversight could have seen local authorities here unable to meet remotely under law.
During a meeting of the city council's Strategic Policy and Resources Committee yesterday, City Solicitor John Walsh proposed changing the council's standing orders so the virtual meetings can continue.
"Essentially, the legislation that allows us to meet in the way we have been in recent months will expire... and there has been an oversight in putting in place new legislation that would allow us to operate in the way we have," he told councillors.
"I have a proposal, which I think is lawful, because I have looked at the 2014 Act that gives us a high level of discretion in terms of our standing orders. Essentially what I have done is taken what was in the coronavirus regulations regarding council meetings and I have adapted and incorporated them into a format that would sit with our standing orders.
"This means essentially, that any reference to place and being present is also construed as being present in an online context."
Sinn Fein's Seanna Walsh queried when face-to-face meetings will be able to take place.
The City Solicitor said they would be guided by the legislation, however, taking into account some councillors may have caring responsibilities - and the council's environmental responsibilities under its climate agenda - he believes that the "future will be in a hybrid format".
He revealed the council is exploring using the Great Hall in City Hall for committee meetings, so social distancing can be adhered to as it is a much larger room than those that committees occupy.
Chief executive Suzanne Wylie added that the current advice is to work from home where possible, so until that changes, they are testing out alternative arrangements for councillors who may not be able to work from their residence.
DUP council group leader Brian Kingston said it is the view of his party that councillors should return to physical meetings at City Hall "as soon as possible".
Councillors agreed, without a vote, to accept the City Solicitor's proposal to amend the standing orders.
According to council documents, the expiration of the remote working legislation is a UK-wide issue.
However, a briefing paper seen by this newspaper indicates Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick has no plans to extend the date in the near future.