The government has amended the decree restricting the activities of restaurants and other food and beverage service businesses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The amendment to the decree will enter into force on Friday.

Weather is the most limiting factor on many terraces. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

The latest amendment to the decree will ease restrictions in the region of Kymenlaakso and in the Hospital District of East Savo.

With its resolution of Thursday, the government supported the proposal to lift the use of national tiers of prevention measures (1–3). Following this, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will discuss the matters required by the change with the regions and make the actual decision to lift the use of tiers. Once this decision has been made, the government will also review the set of restrictions on food and beverage service businesses.

Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in the regions of Åland, Satakunta, South Ostrobothnia, Ostrobothnia, North Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia, Lapland, Kainuu, North Savo, North Karelia, Central Finland and South Savo from May 7

Restaurants that primarily serve alcoholic beverages may have in use half the normal number of customer seats in indoor premises. In other restaurants, 75% of customer seats may be in use at indoor premises. (Customer restrictions do not apply in the region of Åland.)

Restaurants may serve alcoholic beverages until 22:00 and be open to customers between 5:00 and 23:00.

In these regions, restaurants must also instruct customers to stay seated at indoor premises. This means that dancing and karaoke, for example, are prohibited.

On outdoor terraces, each customer must have a seat, and everyone must take care of safe distances. The customer seating restrictions and the “dance ban” do not apply to outdoor terraces.

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Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in the regions of Kanta-Häme and Kymenlaakso from May 7

Restaurants that primarily serve alcoholic beverages may have in use one-third of the normal number of customer seats in indoor premises. Other restaurants will be allowed to seat half of their normal number of customers inside their establishments.

Restaurants that primarily serve alcoholic beverages may serve alcohol until 18:00 and be open to customers between 5:00 and 19:00. Other restaurants may serve alcohol until 19:00 and be open to customers between 5:00 and 20:00.

In these regions, restaurants must also instruct customers to stay seated at indoor premises. This means that dancing and karaoke, for example, are prohibited on indoor premises.

On outdoor terraces, each customer must have a seat, and everyone must take care of safe distances. The rules don’t limit the number of seats at outdoor terraces. Dancing is allowed.

Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in the regions of Uusimaa, Southwest Finland, Pirkanmaa, Päijät-Häme and South Karelia from May 7

Restaurants that primarily serve alcoholic beverages may have in use one-third of the normal number of customer seats in indoor premises. Other restaurants will be allowed to seat half of their normal number of customers inside their establishments.

They may serve alcoholic beverages between 7:00 and 17:00. Restaurants that primarily serve alcoholic beverages may be open between 5:00 and 18:00. Other restaurants may be open to customers between 5:00 and 19:00.

The restaurants located in these regions must also instruct customers to stay seated at indoor premises. This means that dancing and karaoke, for example, are prohibited.

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On outdoor terraces, each customer must have a seat, and everyone must take care of safe distances. The above-mentioned customer seating restrictions and the “dance ban” do not apply to outdoor terraces.

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.

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