To curb the spread of COVID-19, the activities of food and beverage services businesses, that is restaurants, bars and cafes, will be restricted depending on the epidemiological situation in the region.
According to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the main rule is that, in the five regions where the Covid-19 epidemic has reached the acceleration phase, food and beverage service businesses must continue to follow tighter restrictions than the rest of the country.
These restrictions apply to the regions of Uusimaa, Southwest Finland, Pirkanmaa, Kanta-Häme and Ostrobothnia.
This means that in these 5 regions bars must stop serving alcohol by 22.00 and close at 23:00 the latest. Businesses that primarily serve alcoholic beverages may be open between 00:00 and 23:00. Other businesses (cafés, restaurants) may be open between 1:00 and the next midnight (00:00).
In addition, food and beverage businesses in the regions where the epidemic has reached the acceleration phase will be allowed to seat only half of their normal number of customers inside their establishments.
The government decree on the matter will enter into force on 20 November 2020.
Situation calmed down in Ostrobothnia
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health said the epidemic has calmed down in Ostrobothnia, and the region is no longer in the community transmission phase but in the acceleration phase. The current phase was determined based on the opinions from the Vaasa Hospital District and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.
Therefore, food and beverage service businesses operating in Ostrobothnia will therefore be subject to the same restrictions as those in Uusimaa, Southwest Finland, Kanta-Häme and Pirkanmaa, all of which are currently in the acceleration phase.
Government says it will keep these restrictions in force "only for as long as it is necessary, but no longer than until 15 December 2020."