Starting from Saturday 5 December, restaurants and other food and beverage service businesses in the regions of Kanta-Häme, Päijät-Häme, Kymenlaakso and North Ostrobothnia, which are in the spreading phase of the Covid-19 epidemic, will be subject to the same restrictions as those already in force in Uusimaa.
According to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, restrictions will also be tightened in the areas of Finland entering the acceleration phase. The government decree on the matter will enter into force on Saturday at 00.00 and will remain in force until 15 December 2020. After that date, provisions on the restrictions will be laid down in a new decree.
To deal with the coronavirus epidemic, the Finnish health authorities have adopted a model that distinguishes between three different stages, when assessing the situation in the different regions of the country, depending on its severity: baseline, acceleration phase and spreading (also known as community transmission) phase.
Regions in the spreading phase
In practice, the change means that since Saturday the bars, pubs, nightclubs, restaurants and other food and beverage services in Uusimaa, Kanta-Häme, Päijät-Häme, Kymenlaakso and North Ostrobothnia may stay open until 23.00. After closing, they may reopen their doors at 5.00 at the earliest.
The restrictions on opening hours will not apply to food and beverage service businesses operating in connection with service stations.
All food and beverage service businesses in these regions must stop serving alcohol by 22.00. The number of customer seats in restaurants that primarily serve alcoholic beverages will be restricted to half the normal total. Restaurants serving food will be allowed to seat 75% of their normal number of customers.
Regions in the acceleration phase
According to the Ministry of Health, the regions of Southwest Finland (Turku), Pirkanmaa (Tampere), Ostrobothnia, Satakunta, South Karelia, Central Finland, South Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia and Kainuu are in the acceleration phase.
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 00:00 and 23:00, and they will be allowed to seat half of their normal number of customers. Other restaurants may be open between 1.00 and 24.00 and seat 75% of their normal number of customers.
In the regions of North Savo, South Savo, North Karelia, Lapland and Åland, there are still no restrictions on the number of customers.
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.
Government remarked that the aim of the restrictions is to reduce people’s social contacts in premises and situations where the Covid-19 disease is known to spread effectively.