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

People queuing for an open terrace at a restaurant boat at Pitkäsillanranta in Helsinki on May 12, 2021. Photograph: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

The restrictions on food and beverage service businesses will be eased almost throughout the country, depending on the pandemic situation in each area. The amendment to the decree will enter into force on Thursday, May 13.

Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in areas that are at a stable level in the regions of Åland, South Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, North Ostrobothnia, North Savo, North Karelia, Central Finland, South Savo, Ostrobothnia and Satakunta and the Hospital District of Lapland from May 13

Restaurants may serve alcoholic beverages between 7:00 and 00:00 and be open to customers 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. In other restaurants, 75% of customer seats may be in use in indoor premises. The restrictions on the number of customer seats do not apply in Åland.

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

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

Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in areas that are in the acceleration phase in the regions of Kanta-Häme, Central Ostrobothnia, Kymenlaakso and Pirkanmaa and the Hospital District of Länsi-Pohja from May 13

Restaurants may serve alcoholic beverages between 7:00 and 22:00 and be open between 5:00 and 23:00.

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% of their normal number of customers inside their establishments.

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

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

Restrictions on food and beverage service businesses in areas that are in the community transmission phase in the regions of Päijät-Häme, South Karelia, Southwest Finland and Uusimaa from May 13

Restaurants that primarily serve alcoholic beverages may be open between 7:00 and 18:00. Other restaurants may be open between 5:00 and 19:00. They may have in use half the normal number of customer seats in indoor premises.

Other restaurants may serve alcoholic beverages between 7:00 and 19:00 and be open between 5:00 and 20:00. They may have in use 75% of their normal number of customers seats in indoor premises.

The restaurants located in these areas 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 above-mentioned customer seating restrictions and “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.