When the government decides on new coronavirus restrictions related to restaurants in the future, the limitations will be determined by the main purpose of the business.

The number of customers will in the future be limited based on what the restaurant serves. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today
The number of customers will in the future be limited based on what the restaurant serves. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

The Parliament’s Social Affairs and Health Committee has found a unanimous decision on a temporary amendment of the Infectious Diseases Act.

The restrictions imposed on restaurants because of the vast spread of the coronavirus will continue until the end of February 2021.

The previous restrictions, which basically categorize all restaurants in one group, are in effect until the end of October.

In the future, restaurants are categorized into those that focus on serving alcohol and those that serve food. The latter includes cafeterias.

The number of customers may be limited to half of its normal capacity in restaurants that focus primarily in serving alcohol. Mainly, this concerns nightclubs and pubs.

In food restaurants and cafeterias, the number of customers may be limited to a maximum of 25 percent of their capacity. In other words, the restaurants in this category would be allowed to take in 75 percent of their usual capacity.

In addition, the opening hours will in the future be limited depending on the spreading of the virus in a particular area. The limitations can be targeted at a specific hospital district, region or even at a single municipality.

According to the committee report, should the situation related to the coronavirus spread be in control in a particular area, the nightclubs could be open until the wee hours in the morning. The details, however, would be decided by the government.

The committee report is based on the Constitutional Law Committee’s stand that restaurants and areas should be evaluated based on the individual coronavirus situation instead of imposing restrictions nationally.