Prime Minister Sanna Marin (the SDP) briefing the media before the government’s meeting on coronavirus restrictions at the House of States in Helsinki on November 10, 2021. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/FinlandToday

UPDATED: December 3, 2021

The government continues imposing restrictions on restaurants until the year’s end, December 31.

The government decided on the matter on Monday evening.

Here’s what’s happening.

Currently, the government reintroduces restrictions on restaurants in the following regions that are classified as community transmission areas:

Rovaniemi, Central Finland, North Ostrobothnia, Pirkanmaa and Kanta-Häme and the Hospital District of Länsi-Pohja.

The new restrictions will come into effect on November 17.

Restrictions on restaurants are also in effect in Southwest Finland, Satakunta, Päijät-Häme, Ostrobothnia, South Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia, Uusimaa and Kymenlaakso.

Restaurants in the aforementioned areas may serve alcohol between 07:00 and 00:00 and be open between 05:00 and 01:00.

Restaurants that primarily serve alcohol may have only half the normal number of customer seats in use, indoors and outdoors.

Other restaurants are restricted to 75% of their normal number of customer seats indoors.

All customers must have their own seats at a table or similar while indoors. The guidelines of general hygiene and safe distance applies in all regions.

Businesses that require all customers to present a Covid-19 passport are exempt from the restrictions.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has scrapped the phase-based system where the pandemic situation is based on the base level, the acceleration phase and the spreading phase. Instead, the situation is evaluated based on “epidemiological characteristics for community transmission areas,” which is “better suited for the current situation,” the government noted in a statement.

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