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Bars to shut at 12am but in Helsinki at 10pm

Published : 29 Sep 2020, 22:54

Updated : 30 Sep 2020, 20:48

  DF Report

Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru (Middle) along with other ministers and officials of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) spoke at a press conference late Tuesday night. Photo : Finnish government by Jussi Toivanen.

The government on Tuesday imposed a restriction on the opening hours of bars, night clubs, and restaurants in the wake of an increase in the coronavirus outbreak in the recent weeks.

As per the new restriction, bars, night clubs, and restaurants will stop serving food and alcoholic beverages at the zero hour at midnight and shut doors by 1:00am across the country, while, in the Helsinki region, they are required to stop services at 10:00pm and shut down at 11:00pm.

Coming out of a cabinet meeting held in the afternoon, Family Affairs and Social Services Minister Krista Kiuru announced the new restrictive measures at a press conference on late Tuesday night.

The restriction will remain in force from 1 October to 31 October. Businesses, however, will get one week transition time to implement the new order.

The minister also said that the opening time will be further reduced to other regions to 10:00pm, if any region is considered a place of acceleration stage.

The restaurants, bars, and night clubs are also asked to limit the number of customers to half of their capacity.

Xinhua adds: Kiuru said the epidemic situation in the country is now serious, noting that the national infection rate per two weeks has now exceeded 20 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and even higher in some regions. She also said only a fifth of cases can be traced to a source in some areas.

Mika Salminen, director at the National Institute for Health and Welfare, said on Tuesday that the spreading of the COVID-19 in Finland is now worse than "at the peak of infections in the spring." Salminen said that the Helsinki area and surrounding province are already in the acceleration phase.