A closed restaurant

Restaurants in parts of Finland will be closed for 3 weeks

Restaurants in parts of Finland will be closed for 3 weeks

Food and beverage venues have been forced to shut for three weeks in 15 Finnish regions

On 1 March, Finland declared a state of emergency and proposed the closure of restaurants. Yesterday (8 March) this proposition was approved by Parliament and confirmed by the President of the Republic.

Three-week closure

As of today (9 March), restaurants and other catering venues have been shut in several Finnish regions for three weeks (until 28 March). This decision was made following a surge in COVID cases and an acceleration of the rate of infections in several Finnish regions.

While restaurants will remain open for takeaway and delivery, they will be closed to customers in the following 15 regions:

  1. Uusimaa
  2. Southwest Finland
  3. Satakunta
  4. Kanta-Häme
  5. Pirkanmaa
  6. Päijät-Häme
  7. Kymenlaakso
  8. South Karelia
  9. South Savo
  10. Central Finland
  11. South Ostrobothnia
  12. Ostrobothnia
  13. Northern Ostrobothnia
  14. Lapland
  15. Åland

Possible amendments  

It is important to note that the three-week closure can be revoked in cases where an area is no longer “in acceleration or community transmission phase”, reported the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. Similarly, the decree can be amended if the virus begins to accelerate in an area that is not currently on the list.

The decree will affect cafes, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and outdoor terraces that are open to the public. The only food and beverage businesses that are exempt from this order are the canteens in residential homes for the elderly or staff restaurants.

On its website, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment further reported that it is preparing a model designed to support and compensate businesses that have been affected by the closures. During this month, the government is also set to release a proposal for potential amendments to the Act on Support for Business Costs.

Restaurants that remain open to customers in the stable Finnish regions must still comply with the regulations and restrictions that have been put in place in the Communicable Diseases Act to prevent the spread of the virus.  

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