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To contain coronavirus

Govt orders to close restaurants till May 31

Published : 25 Mar 2020, 10:57

  DF Report

File Photo City of Helsinki by Rebekka Mustonen/Comma Image Oy.

The government has decided to close down restaurants, cafés and licensed premises as a part of the tougher measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak in the country, said a press release issued by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

The government late Tuesday night submitted a proposal to the Parliament, which will bring the matter into discussion immediately.

However, meals may be sold to customers for takeaway. Customers themselves or a food courier are allowed to pick up prepared meals from the restaurant, or the restaurant can deliver meals directly to customers.

The order to close restaurants to customers will not be applicable for restaurants that are not open to the public, such as personnel canteens or student canteens in educational institutions.

The purpose of these actions is to protect the population and to safeguard the functioning of society. These restrictions will remain in force until 31 May 2020.

Meanwhile, entrepreneurs facing financial difficulties are advised to first contact their own bank and other financing providers. Due to the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus, banks are prepared to discuss arrangements such as loan repayment holidays and repayment rescheduling.

Actions taken by the central government make banks better equipped to provide financing to companies.

Companies can apply for support from Business Finland, which made two new financial services available on March 19 to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic.

These services are intended for SMEs and midcaps operating in Finland whose business is suffering from the coronavirus situation.

Financial services are intended for tourism and auxiliary tourism services, but also for creative and performing industries and all sectors where subcontracting chains are affected.

The funding is intended for companies to explore and tap into new business opportunities in emergency conditions.

In addition, ELY Centres are prepared to support restaurant entrepreneurs in financial distress caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The ELY Centres’ business development projects are therefore targeted especially at helping SMEs in the service sector to prevent and control the effects of the coronavirus.