Finland prepares for reopening, as the incidence of new cases of coronavirus declines and the vaccination process progresses.
The government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) is negotiating a gradual de-escalation plan with parliamentary political groups. Meanwhile, the authorities ask for caution and restraint because the virus is still circulating, especially in the southern provinces of the country.
In this context, the government has decided that restaurants, bars, cafés, pubs and nightclubs must remain closed to customers until 18 April 2021 in most regions, with very few exceptions, to stop the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic.
On 8 April 2021, the Government amended the decree on the regions that fall under the closure requirement based on the health authorities’ assessment of the epidemic situation in the regions.
As a change from the situation prevailing so far, the authorities will allow the reopening of the restaurants in Kittila on North Ostrobothnia since Friday 9 April.
The affected regions
According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, restaurants must be closed 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.
Closure affects all food and beverage service businesses, with the exception of staff restaurants.
Outdoor terraces too
The food and beverage service businesses to be closed down include cafés, restaurants, bars and nightclubs that are open to the public, including outdoor terraces. However, takeaway sales are allowed.
The order to close 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.