The government has amended the decree restricting the activities of food and beverage service businesses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

On Thursday, coronavirus restrictions will be eased further.

In areas where the pandemic is at a stable level, all restrictions on customer numbers and opening and licensing hours will be removed.

This means that when the pandemic is at a stable level, the only restrictions in place will be the obligations to observe the general hygiene guidelines and to keep a safe distance and the obligation to provide customers their own seats when indoors.

In areas in the acceleration phase, the opening and licensing hours of food and beverage service businesses will be extended.

The regions of Päijät-Häme and Kanta-Häme will return to baseline restrictions, and the only area that remains in the acceleration phase is the region of Uusimaa.

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 June 24

No separate restrictions on numbers of customers, licensing or opening hours.  

The obligations to observe the general hygiene guidelines and to keep a safe distance will 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 business.
  • 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.
Read also:  110 New Coronavirus Infections in Finland

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 operations outdoors.

Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in areas in the acceleration phase in the region of Uusimaa as of June 24

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 percent 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, a customer no longer must have a 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 pandemic is in the acceleration phase.