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Government discusses restrictions on movement and decides to continue temporary closure of food and beverage service businesses

Government Communications DepartmentMinistry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 24.3.2021 14.15
Press release 184

In its meeting on 22 March, the Government discussed the possible adoption of restrictions on movement. The preparation of the restrictions will continue and the Government will return to the issue in its informal meeting on Tuesday at 18.00. The Government will also inform the parties in Parliament about the restrictions at 16.00.

Temporary closure of food and beverage service business continues

The Government decided to propose that the closure of restaurants be continued by three weeks until 18 April. The continuation of the closure was deemed necessary based on the epidemic situation. A related government proposal is due to be submitted to Parliament in an extraordinary government plenary session on 23 March.

The closure is to continue under the same conditions as the current closure. Restaurants and other food and beverage service businesses will remain closed to customers in areas where the COVID-19 epidemic situation is the most serious. 

Provisions on the areas of application will be laid down by government decree. Food and beverage service business will stay closed to customers in the regions where the epidemic is in the acceleration or community transmission phase. With the exception of Southern Ostrobothnia, the regions will remain the same as under the current closure. The epidemic situation in South Ostrobothnia will be re-examined by tomorrow 23 March.

  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. Ostrobothnia
  12. North Ostrobothnia
  13. Lapland
  14. Åland

The following regions do not fall under the closure requirement: North Karelia, Central Ostrobothnia, Kainuu and North Savo. In these regions, food and beverage service business must observe provisions laid down in the Communicable Diseases Act and by virtue of the same Act.

The food and beverage service businesses to remain temporarily closed will include cafés, restaurants, bars and nightclubs that are open to the public. The restriction will also affect outdoor terraces. It will not affect canteens in residential homes for older people or staff restaurants that are not open to other customers, for example.
During the closure, restaurants and cafés are still allowed to sell portions directly to the customer for takeaway or deliver them either themselves or using other service providers.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has prepared a support model for the reasonable compensation of businesses affected by the current closure measures. This aid is to be implemented as part of business cost support. The proposal is currently under consideration by Parliament. 

Inquiries: Liisa Huhtala, Senior Government Adviser, tel. +358 295 047 062 (closure of restaurants), and Mikko Huuskonen, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 29 5 063 732 (questions on business cost support), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, and Päivi Anttikoski, Director of Government Communications, tel.  +358 40 536 4821

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