Finland: Tighter restrictions on restaurants and other food and beverage service businesses in Uusimaa — changes to night-time opening hours

NordenBladet — Restaurants and other food and beverage service businesses in the region of Uusimaa will be subject to tighter restrictions than the other regions in Finland. The government decree on the matter will enter into force on 26 November at 00.00.The decree will address the activities of night cafes by restricting their opening hours. In future, food and beverage service businesses could, after closing, reopen their doors at 5.00 at the earliest and stay open until 23.00. The restrictions on opening hours would not, however, apply to food and beverage service businesses operating in connection with service stations.
 
All food and beverage service businesses in Uusimaa must stop serving alcohol by 22.00 as before. The number of customer seats in restaurants that primarily serve alcoholic beverages will continue to be restricted to half the normal total. Restaurants serving food would be allowed to seat 75 per cent of their normal number of customers.

Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in regions in acceleration phase remain unchanged
The restrictions on food and beverage service businesses operating in Southwest Finland, Pirkanmaa, Kanta-Häme and Ostrobothnia will remain unchanged as from 26 November. All food and beverage service businesses in these regions will be allowed to serve alcohol between 7.00 and 22.00. Restaurants that primarily serve alcoholic beverages may be open between 24 and 23, and they will be allowed to seat half of their normal number of customers. Other restaurants may be open between 01.00 and 24.00 and seat 75 per cent of their normal number of customers.The number of customer seats will not be limited in regions where the epidemic is at a stable level. All food and beverage service businesses will be allowed to serve alcohol between 7.00 and 24.00. Restaurants that primarily serve alcoholic beverages may be open between 2.00 and 1.00. The opening hours of other restaurants will not be restricted.The restrictions will remain in force only for as long as it is necessary, but no longer than until 15 December 2020.

Restrictions are based on regions’ own assessment of their epidemiological situation
To curb the spread of COVID-19, the activities of food and beverage services businesses will be restricted depending on the epidemiological situation in the region. The epidemiological situation is determined on the basis of the assessments made by regional cooperation groups and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. The aim of the restrictions to be imposed based on the epidemiological situation in the region is to reduce people’s social contacts in premises and situations where the COVID-19 disease is known to spread effectively.

Provisions on the restrictions on the activities of food and beverage service businesses are laid down in section 58a of the Communicable Diseases Act. This temporary section will remain in force until 28 February 2021. Further provisions on restrictions are issued by government decree. They lay down provisions on the restrictions concerning the opening and licencing hours of food and beverage service businesses by region and type of restaurant.

Source: Valtioneuvosto.fi


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