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Finland announces new measures for restaurants from 19 April

Finland announces new measures for restaurants from 19 April

The restrictions vary for different parts of the country

On 16 April, the Finnish Government announced new rules for catering establishments. Since 29 March, restaurants and other catering services have remained temporarily closed. Now, from Monday 19 April, businesses will be able to open once again although they must comply with certain measures.

These measures will vary throughout the country and they will depend on the epidemic situation. In other words, the areas which have been most severely affected by COVID will have to comply with stricter restrictions. Nevertheless, the government reports that the measures will be updated on a regular basis.

Two sets of rules

The government revealed that catering businesses in the following regions must follow stricter measures: Uusimaa, Kanta-Häme, Southwest Finland, Satakunta, Pirkanmaa, Päijät-Häme, Kymenlaakso, South Karelia, South Savo, Central Finland and Ostrobothnia.

Venues that primarily serve alcoholic beverages in these regions will only be allowed to operate from 5 am to 6 pm and at a third of their normal capacity. Furthermore, serving alcohol will be permitted only between 7 am and 5 pm. Other restaurants and catering services can use half of their usual capacity and operate from 5 am to 7 pm. However, serving alcoholic beverages will only be permitted from 7 am to 5 pm.

The second set of rules concerns establishments in the following regions: Åland, Southern Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, Central Ostrobothnia, Lapland, Northern Savonia, North Karelia and North Ostrobothnia.

These regions will be given more freedom as venues that primarily serve alcoholic beverages will be able operate at half of their usual capacity. Moreover, other restaurants will be able to operate at 75% of their capacity. It is important to note that establishments in Åland will not face any seating restrictions.

All catering venues in these regions will be allowed to remain open from 5 am to 11 pm although serving alcohol will not be permitted after 10 pm.

These rules will apply from Monday 19 April and are subject to change, depending on the COVID situation throughout the country.

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