Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses

Rectrictions from 15.10.2021 

The Government has 14 October given a decree to restrict the activities of restaurants and other food and beverage service businesses due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The decree will enter into force on Friday 15 October 2021.

Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in the regions of Southwest Finland, Satakunta, Päijät-Häme, Ostrobothnia and Central Ostrobothnia, and in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen, which are all at the community transmission phase of the epidemic, from 15 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 15 October

No separate restrictions on numbers of customers, licensing or opening hours.

The obligations to observe the general hygiene guidelines and to keep a safe distance will apply:

  • The restaurants and other businesses serving food and/or beverages must clearly inform people arriving there that a person with symptoms consistent with a COVID-19 infection is not allowed to enter the business. 
  • The businesses must ensure that the customers use the premises in such a way that they are spaced as far apart as possible, and the customer seats are at a sufficient distance from each other.
  • The businesses must ensure that the premises and surfaces are cleaned and that the customers are given the opportunity to clean their hands.
  • The businesses must draw up a written plan on how to implement the obligations and restrictions laid down for their activities and the use of their indoor and outdoor facilities.

Exceptions to restrictions 

The 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.

Further information

Ismo Tuominen, Senior Ministerial Adviser 
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Department for Safety, Security and Health / TUTO, Wellbeing and Health Protection Unit / HYT 0295163341