Changes to restrictions on food and beverage service businesses — lighter restrictions for acceleration and community transmission phases of epidemic
The Government has amended the decree restricting the activities of food and beverage service businesses due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Based on the current epidemiological situation, restrictions for the acceleration and community transmission phases of the epidemic will be significantly eased and lifted. In addition, in the region of Uusimaa, the restrictions for the community transmission phase will continue to apply only in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen.
The amendment to the decree will enter into force on 1 October 2021.
Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in the regions of Southwest Finland, South Karelia, Ostrobothnia and Satakunta, and in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen, which are all at the community transmission phase of the epidemic, from 1 October
Food and beverage service businesses may serve alcoholic beverages between 7.00 and 00.00 and be open between 5.00 and 1.00.
Food and beverage service businesses that primarily serve alcoholic beverages may have only half the normal number of customer seats in use in their indoor and outdoor premises. Other food and beverage service businesses are restricted to 75 per cent of their normal number of customer seats in indoor premises.
All customers must have their own seats at a table or similar in indoor premises. The earlier ban on karaoke and dancing and the obligation to provide customers their own seats in outdoor premises will be lifted.
Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses elsewhere in the country, i.e. in areas where the epidemic is at the acceleration or baseline phase, from 1 October
No separate restrictions on the number of customers or on licensing and opening hours.
The obligation to observe the general hygiene guidelines and to keep a safe distance applies in all regions.
Exceptions to restrictions remain unchanged
The restrictions laid down in the decree do not apply to the activities of staff restaurants or to takeaway sales of food to customers. The restrictions on opening hours do not apply to food and beverage service businesses on vessels and aircraft that operate between Finland and other countries or abroad or to food and beverage service businesses that operate at distribution stations for liquid fuels.
Ismo Tuominen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected]
The Regional State Administrative Agencies will answer questions concerning the practical implementation of the restrictions.