Finland: Restaurants to remain closed to customers in most parts of Finland until 18 April – Closure to end in Kittilä and North Ostrobothnia

NordenBladet — Restaurants and other food and beverage service businesses must remain closed to customers until 18 April 2021 in regions where it is necessary to stop the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic. Restaurants will be able to open to customers in Kittilä and North Ostrobothnia on 9 April 2021.

Restaurants must be closed to customers in the following regions:
Southwest Finland
South Karelia
South Savo
North Savo
North Karelia
Central Finland

The following regions do not fall under the closure requirement: Åland, South Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, Central Ostrobothnia, Lapland and North Ostrobothnia.

The Government regularly monitors the development of the epidemic situation in different regions. By law, the Government is required to amend the decree and impose and lift closure restrictions in line with the development of the epidemiological situation in any given region. On 8 April 2021, the Government amended the decree on the regions that fall under the closure requirement. The amendment to the decree is based on the health authorities’ assessment of the epidemic situation in the regions. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) issued a statement on the epidemic situation on 7 April 2021.

Closure affects all food and beverage service businesses, with the exception of staff restaurants
The food and beverage service businesses to be closed down include cafés, restaurants, bars and nightclubs that are open to the public. The closure also applies to outdoor terraces. However, restaurants and cafes are allowed to sell meals and beverages for takeaway, either directly to the customer, or for delivery. Restaurants can organise the delivery to the customer’s home themselves or using other service providers.

The order to close restaurants does not apply to personnel canteens that are not open to the public. Canteens in residential homes for older people, hospitals, garrisons, prisons, daycare centres and schools, as well as other staff canteens closed to the general public, may remain open. However, they must still comply with the other restrictions imposed due to COVID-19.

Support scheme for restaurants under preparation
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is preparing a support scheme for the reasonable compensation of businesses where customer premises have been closed by law or order of an authority. The government proposal is currently being discussed by Parliament. The new closure compensation would apply to small and micro-sized companies that do not employ more than 49 people. A separate form of aid for larger companies will be prepared as soon as possible.Applications for closure compensation will be accepted from May. Companies can apply for compensation at the State Treasury.


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