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Ministers for health and social services: lighter COVID-19 restrictions proposed in Finland

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
22.6.2021 15.41 | Published in English on 23.6.2021 at 10.44
Press release 178/2021

The ministerial working group proposes easing the restrictions on food and beverage service busi-nesses and indoor public events in areas where the epidemic is in the community transmission phase. On 22 June 2021, the Ministerial Working Group on Health and Social Services discussed the COVID-19 situation in Finland and the restrictions in place. Decisions on easing the restrictions on food and beverage service businesses would be made at a government session on 23 June.

The ministerial working group proposes that the restrictions on food and beverage service busi-nesses be eased as follows:

  • In areas where the epidemic is at a stable level, all restrictions on customer numbers and opening and licensing hours would be removed. This means that when the epidemic is at a stable level, the only restrictions in place would be the obligation to observe the general hygiene guidelines and to keep a safe distance and the obligation to provide customers their own seats when indoors.
  • In areas in the acceleration phase, the opening and licensing hours of food and beverage service businesses would be extended.
    • Allowed licensing hours would be from 7.00 to midnight.
    • Allowed opening hours would be from 5.00 to 1.00.
    • Customers will no longer need to be seated at a table when served outdoors.
    • The same general obligations and restrictions in place when the epidemic is at a stable level would apply even when the epidemic is in the acceleration phase.

The restrictions would be eased as of 24 June.

Decisions will be made by the Government as soon as possible on the basis of the proposals out-lined in the ministerial working group. Possible amendments to restrictions on businesses serving food and/or beverages will continue to be considered weekly at the government session, based on the evolution of the epidemiological situation in different areas. 

Lighter restrictions proposed for public events in community transmission areas

The ministerial working group proposes that the restrictions on public events organised indoors in areas where the epidemic is in the community transmission phase be eased as follows:

  • Participants and parties must avoid close contact with others. 
  • The number of participants may not exceed 50 per cent of the maximum number of people allowed in the premises when participants can be assigned their own seating or standing area. In case more than 25 persons are attending, the premises should be divided into separate blocks of maximum 25 persons to keep groups separate.
  • Only 10 persons would be allowed to attend an event at the same time if they cannot be assigned their own seating or standing area. Even then, participants could be divided into separate groups.

The recommendations would be unchanged in other respects.

The hybrid strategy to manage the COVID-19 epidemic will be updated based on the group’s pro-posals. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will send a circular about the update as soon as possible. 

Inquiries:

Timo Lehtinen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru, [email protected]

Ismo Tuominen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, [email protected] (restrictions on food and beverage service businesses)

Kirsi Kaikko, Ministerial Adviser, [email protected] (restrictions on public events)

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