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New decree restricting activities of food and beverage service businesses from 19 April — strictest restrictions for areas worst affected by COVID-19

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
16.4.2021 10.46 | Published in English on 16.4.2021 at 11.30
Press release 100/2021

The Government has amended the decree restricting the activities of restaurants and other food and beverage service businesses due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The amendment to the decree will enter into force on 19 February at 00.00. 

After the temporary closure of restaurants and other food and beverage service businesses that is in effect from 29 March to 18 April, businesses can reopen with restrictions. The strictest restrictions will be imposed on the areas worst affected by the epidemic.  The regional restrictions will be amended weekly to correspond to the prevailing epidemiological situation. This will be done by amending the government decree.

All the restrictions will be reviewed on the basis of the national epidemiological situation. The first review will be conducted two weeks after the restrictions have entered into force, with a particular focus on the restrictions concerning terraces and patios, restaurants serving food and areas in the acceleration phase. It is imperative that the downward trend in new COVID-19 cases continues so that the restrictions can be eased.

Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in Åland, South Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, Central Ostrobothnia, Lapland, North Savo, North Karelia and North Ostrobothnia from 19 April 2021

The amount of customer seating indoors in restaurants that primarily serve alcoholic beverages will be restricted to half the normal number of seats. For other restaurants, 75 per cent of customer seats indoors may be in use. The restriction on the number of customer seats will not apply to Åland.

Restaurants may serve alcoholic beverages until 22.00 and be open to customers between 5.00 and 23.00. 

In these regions, restaurants must instruct customers to stay seated in indoor premises. This means that dancing and karaoke, for example, are prohibited.

In outdoor terraces and patios, each customer must have a seat, and everyone must take care of safe distances. The above-mentioned customer seating restrictions and “dance ban” do not apply to outdoor terraces. 

Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in Uusimaa, Kanta-Häme, Southwest Finland, Satakunta, Pirkanmaa, Päijät-Häme, Kymenlaakso, South Karelia, South Savo, Central Finland and Ostrobothnia from 19 April

The amount of customer seating indoors in restaurants that primarily serve alcoholic beverages will be restricted to one third of the normal number of seats. They may serve alcoholic beverages between 7.00 and 17.00 and be open to customers between 5.00 and 18.00. For other restaurants, the amount of customer seating indoors will be restricted to half the normal number of seats. They may serve alcoholic beverages between 7.00 and 17.00 and be open to customers between 5.00 and 19.00. 

The restaurants located in these regions must also instruct customers to stay seated in indoor premises. This means that dancing and karaoke, for example, are prohibited.

In outdoor terraces and patios, each customer must have a seat, and everyone must take care of safe distances. The above-mentioned customer seating restrictions and “dance ban” do not apply to outdoor terraces. 

Exceptions to restrictions

The above-mentioned restrictions 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.


Inquiries:

Ismo Tuominen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, [email protected] 

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