Tuesday April 13, 2021

Restrictions continue on restaurant, bar until end of June

Published : 05 Feb 2021, 02:03

Updated : 05 Feb 2021, 10:30

  DF Report

The officials of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) spoke at a press conference on the government restrictive measures to fight coronavirus on Thursday. Photo: Finnish government by Lauri Heikkinen.

The government has decided to continue the ongoing restrictions on the opening hours of the restaurants and bars until the end of June against the backdrop of the coronavirus situation.

The government on Thursday submitted a proposal to parliament in this regard to bring a necessary amendment to the Communicable Diseases Act, said the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in a press release.

The proposed amendment will extend the validity of the provisions on restrictions concerning food and beverage service businesses, namely restaurants, bars and cafes.

The current Act on Temporarily Amending the Communicable Diseases Act is in force until 28 February 2021.

When submitting the legislative proposal, the government stated that consultations with the authorities and stakeholders concerned would be launched for the purpose of drawing up a legislative proposal for tighter restrictions.

In connection with the proposal, the government has approved a statement, which has been entered in the minutes.

According to the statement, the government’s proposal for temporarily amending the Communicable Diseases Act aims to ensure that at least the current restrictions concerning the activities of food and beverage service businesses will remain in force after the expiry of the current provisions on 28 February.

The amendment to the decree will enter into force on 6 February at 00.00 hours.

In the regions of Uusimaa, Southwest Finland, Kanta-Häme, Päijät-Häme, Kymenlaakso, Ostrobothnia and North Ostrobothnia, food and beverage service businesses that primarily serve alcoholic beverages will be allowed to serve alcohol between 7.00 and 22.00 hours and to open between 5.00 and 23.00 hours.

The amount of customer-seating will be restricted to half the maximum number of seats. In other restaurants, the serving of alcoholic beverages will be permitted between 7.00 and 22.00 hours and they may open between 5.00 and 23.00 hours. They will be allowed to seat 75% of their normal number of customers.

In the regions of Pirkanmaa, Satakunta, South Karelia, Central Finland, South Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, Lapland, North Karelia, and South Savo, food and beverage service businesses that primarily serve alcoholic beverages will be allowed to serve alcohol between 7.00 and 22.00 hours.

They may open between 24.00 and 23.00 hours and seat half of their normal number of customers. In other restaurants the serving of alcoholic beverages will be permitted between 7.00 and 22.00 hours. They may open between 1.00 and 24.00 hours and they will be allowed to seat 75% of their normal number of customers.

In North Savo and Åland, the number of customer seats in restaurants will not be restricted.

Restaurants that primarily serve alcoholic beverages will be allowed to serve alcohol between 7.00 and 24.00 hours and they may open between 2.00 and 1.00 hours. In other restaurants, the serving of alcoholic beverages will also be permitted between 7.00 and 24.00 hours but the opening hours will not be restricted.

The amendments to the decree, therefore, concern the region of Ostrobothnia and the Hospital District of East Savo, where the current restrictions were tightened. Previously, the restrictions corresponding to the acceleration phase applied only to the area of the Hospital District of South Savo in the region of South Savo. In Åland, the current restrictions were eased.