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Changes to restrictions on food and beverage service businesses

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
23.9.2021 13.43
Press release 276/2021

The Government has amended the decree restricting the activities of food and beverage service businesses due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Based on the current epidemiological situation, the restrictions on the maximum permitted number of customers and on opening and licensing hours will be lifted in North Ostrobothnia. In addition, restrictions will be eased in Kymenlaakso and Pirkanmaa and tightened in Satakunta.

The amendment to the decree will enter into force on 24 September 2021.

Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in the regions that are at the community transmission phase of the epidemic — Southwest Finland, Uusimaa, South Karelia, Ostrobothnia and Satakunta — from 24 September

Food and beverage service businesses may serve alcohol between 7.00 and 23.00 and be open between 5.00 and 00.00.

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 in indoor and outdoor premises.

All customers must have their own seats 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, South Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia, Kymenlaakso and Pirkanmaa and in the Hospital District of East Savo, which are all at the acceleration phase of the epidemic, from 24 September

Food and beverage service businesses may serve alcohol between 7.00 and 1.00 and be open between 5.00 and 2.00. 

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 restaurants may seat 75 per cent of their normal number of customers inside their establishments. 

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

Baseline restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in the regions of Åland, Central Finland, Lapland, North Karelia, Kainuu and North Ostrobothnia and in the Hospital District of South Savo from 24 September

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.