No changes to restrictions on food and beverage service businesses
The Government has issued a new decree restricting the activities of restaurants and other food and beverage service businesses owing to the COVID-19 epidemic. The new decree was issued under section 58a of the Communicable Diseases Act, the validity of which has been extended by an act that will enter into force on 1 July 2021. The decree will renew the existing restrictions. In other words, it will have no effect on the restrictions currently in force.
The new decree will enter into force on 1 July 2021.
Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in baseline areas in the regions of Åland, South Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, North Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia, Southwest Finland, North Savo, North Karelia, Central Finland, South Savo, Ostrobothnia, Satakunta, South Karelia, Pirkanmaa, Kymenlaakso, Päijät-Häme, Kanta-Häme and Lapland from 24 June
There are no separate restrictions on the number of customers or licensing and opening hours.
The obligations to observe the general hygiene guidelines and to keep a safe distance apply:
- The restaurants and other businesses serving food and/or beverages must clearly inform people arriving there that a person with symptoms consistent with a COVID-19 infection is not allowed to enter the premises.
- The businesses must ensure that the customers use the premises in such a way that they are spaced as far apart as possible, and the customer seats are at a sufficient distance from each other.
- The businesses must ensure that the premises and surfaces are cleaned and that the customers are given the opportunity to clean their hands.
- The businesses must draw up a written plan on how to implement the obligations and restrictions laid down for their activities and the use of their indoor and outdoor facilities.
- All customers must have their own seat at a table or similar.
- The seat requirement does not apply to restaurant activities outdoors.
Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in areas in the acceleration phase in the region of Uusimaa from 24 June
Food and beverage service businesses may serve alcoholic beverages between 7.00 and 00.00 and be open between 5.00 and 1.00.
Restaurants that primarily serve alcoholic beverages may have in use half the normal number of customer seats in indoor premises. Other restaurants 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.
On outdoor terraces, customers are no longer required to have their own seat, but everyone must take care of safe distances. The number of customer seats on outdoor terraces is not limited.
The obligation to observe the general hygiene guidelines and to keep a safe distance apply even when the epidemic is in the acceleration phase.
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.
Ismo Tuominen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, [email protected]