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New restrictions to be imposed on food and beverage service businesses in several regions

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 19.8.2021 18.40
Press release 229/2021

The Government has amended the decree restricting the activities of food and beverage service businesses due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The restrictions for the community transmission phase will enter into force in the entire Uusimaa region and South Karelia. The Hospital District of South Savo is moving to the acceleration phase of the epidemic.

The decree will enter into force on Sunday 22 August 2021.

Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in the regions of Southwest Finland, Pirkanmaa, Kymenlaakso, Uusimaa, Satakunta and South Karelia, which are all at the community transmission phase of the epidemic, from 22 August:

Food and beverage service businesses may serve alcoholic beverages between 7.00 and 22.00 and be open between 5.00 and 23.00.

Food and beverage service businesses that primarily serve alcoholic beverages may have only half the normal number of customer seats in use in their indoor and outdoor premises. Other food and beverage service businesses are restricted to 75 per cent of their normal number of customer seats indoors and outdoors.

All customers must have their own seat at a table or similar in both indoor and outdoor premises. 

Customers are instructed to stay seated in indoor premises. Businesses must draw up and provide their customers with instructions on how to enter or leave the premises or access the area designated for smoking or the toilets and washing facilities and how to collect their takeaway orders of food and drinks. In practice, dancing and karaoke, for example, are not allowed.

Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in the regions of Kanta-Häme, Päijät-Häme, North Savo, North Karelia, Central Finland, South Ostrobothnia, Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia, North Ostrobothnia and Kainuu, and in the Hospital District of South Savo and the city of Rovaniemi, which are all at the acceleration phase of the epidemic, from 22 August:

Food and beverage service businesses may serve alcoholic beverages between 7.00 and 00.00 and be open between 5.00 and 1.00. 

Food and beverage service businesses that primarily serve alcoholic beverages may have half the normal number of customer seats in use in indoor premises. Other food and beverage service businesses may seat 75 per cent of their normal number of customers inside their establishments. 

As before, all customers must have their own seat by a table or counter when indoors. The number of customer seats in outdoor terraces is not limited. 

Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in Åland, the Hospital District of East Savo and the region of Lapland, excluding the city of Rovaniemi, from 22 August: 

There are no separate restrictions on the number of customers or on licensing and opening hours.

An exception to this applies to food and beverage service businesses in Åland. These businesses may serve alcoholic beverages between 7.00 and 00.00 and be open between 5.00 and 1.00.

As before, all customers must have their own seat by a table or counter when indoors.

The obligation to observe the general hygiene guidelines and to keep a safe distance applies in all regions.

Exceptions to restrictions remain unchanged

The restrictions laid down in the decree do not apply to the activities of staff restaurants or to takeaway sales of food to customers. The restrictions on opening hours do not apply to food and beverage service businesses on vessels and aircraft that operate between Finland and other countries or abroad or to food and beverage service businesses that operate at distribution stations for liquid fuels.

Inquiries:

Ismo Tuominen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 341, [email protected]

The Regional State Administrative Agencies will answer questions concerning the practical implementation of the restrictions.