Partial lifting of restrictions on restaurants, cafes and bars from 13 July – remaining restrictions in force until 31 August
The restrictions concerning the opening hours, licensing hours and numbers of customers of food and beverage service businesses will be lifted completely from (and including) 13 July 2020. This means that the opening hours and numbers of customers of restaurants, cafes and bars will no longer be restricted under the Communicable Diseases Act, and licensing hours will be determined in accordance with the Alcohol Act.
- The changes will be implemented in phases, so that from (and including) Monday 22 June 2020, the permitted opening hours will be between 04.00 and 02.00 and the permitted licensing hours will be between 09.00 and 01.00. From 22 June until 12 July, restaurants, cafes and bars will be allowed to seat no more than three quarters of their normal number of customers inside their establishments.
Customers will be allowed to serve or dish out their own food or drinks, for example at a buffet table, from 22 June onwards.
Provisions on the restrictions will be laid down in a new government decree on temporarily restricting the activities of food and beverage service businesses to prevent the spread of a communicable disease. The decree will enter into force on 22 June 2020 and remain in force until 31 August 2020.
Food and beverage service businesses must continue to prevent risk of infection
Although the restrictions on the opening and licensing hours and numbers of customers of food and beverage service businesses will be lifted, the decree lays down provisions on the other restrictions that will remain in force. The aim of these restrictions is to continue to protect customers and staff from coronavirus (COVID-19) infections after 13 July 2020.
All customers will still be required to have their own seats from 13 July onwards. In addition, food and beverage service businesses must continue to provide their customers with instructions on how to prevent the spread of a communicable disease. Customers need to be able to wash their hands, and the premises and surfaces of food and beverage service businesses must be kept clean. Food and beverage service businesses will also be responsible for ensuring sufficient physical distances between customers.
Each establishment must display its plan on how to implement these restrictions and obligations in such a way that customers can see it.
Ismo Tuominen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, [email protected]