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Tighter restrictions on food and beverage service businesses

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 26.11.2021 10.58 | Published in English on 26.11.2021 at 11.41
Press release 371/2021

The Government has amended the decree that restricts the activities of food and beverage service businesses due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The restrictions on licensing and opening hours will be tightened in areas where the epidemic is in the community transmission phase. In addition, restrictions on food and beverage service businesses will be reintroduced in the region of South Karelia.

The amendment to the decree will enter into force on Sunday 28 November at 00.00.

Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in the regions of Southwest Finland, Satakunta, Päijät-Häme, Ostrobothnia, South Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia, North Ostrobothnia, Pirkanmaa, Uusimaa, Kymenlaakso and Kanta-Häme and South Karelia and in the Hospital District of Länsi-Pohja, which are all at the community transmission phase of the epidemic, from 28 November at 00.00

Serving of alcoholic beverages in all food and beverage service businesses will end at 17.00. Such businesses may keep their premises open to customers from 05.00 to 18.00. Alcoholic beverages sold before the serving of alcohol ends may be consumed within one hour after the licensing hours have ended. Food and beverage service businesses will be allowed to serve alcoholic beverages after 17.00 only by introducing the COVID-19 passport.

Businesses that do not serve serve alcoholic beverages may be open between 5.00 and 1.00. For example, fast food restaurants and cafes may remain open, just as they are now. Bars and restaurants may also be open between 5.00 and 1.00 if they do not serve alcoholic beverages.

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 are restricted to 75 per cent of their normal number of customer seats indoors.

All customers must have their own seats at a table or similar in indoor premises.

Businesses who require all customers to present a COVID-19 passport are exempt from the above-mentioned restrictions.

Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses elsewhere in Finland from 28 November at 00.00

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

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, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected] 

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