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Tighter restrictions on restaurants, bars and cafes continue to apply in five regions — Ostrobothnia to return to less stringent restrictions

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 19.11.2020 14.03
Press release

To curb the spread of COVID-19, the activities of food and beverage services businesses, that is restaurants, bars and cafes, will be restricted depending on the epidemiological situation in the region. The main rule is that, in the five regions where the COVID-19 epidemic has reached the acceleration phase, food and beverage service businesses must continue to follow tighter restrictions than the rest of the country. These restrictions apply to the regions of Uusimaa, Southwest Finland, Pirkanmaa, Kanta-Häme and Ostrobothnia.

The government decree on the matter will enter into force on 20 November 2020.

Same restrictions will apply to Ostrobothnia as to other regions in acceleration phase

The COVID-19 epidemic has calmed down in Ostrobothnia, and at the moment, the region is no longer in the community transmission phase but in the acceleration phase. The current phase was determined based on the opinions from the Vaasa Hospital District and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.

The food and beverage service businesses operating in Ostrobothnia will therefore be subject to the same restrictions as the food and beverage service businesses in Uusimaa, Southwest Finland, Kanta-Häme and Pirkanmaa, all of which are currently in the acceleration phase. 

This means that in Ostrobothnia, as in the other regions in the acceleration phase, businesses must stop serving alcoholic beverages by 22.00. Businesses that primarily serve alcoholic beverages may be open between 24.00 and 23.00. Other food and beverage service businesses may be open between 1.00 and 24.00. In Ostrobothnia, too, other food and beverage service businesses may stay open to customers for two hours after licensing hours have ended starting on 20 November 2020. 

In addition, food and beverage service businesses operating in the regions where the epidemic has reached the acceleration phase will be allowed to seat only half of their normal number of customers inside their establishments.  

Provisions on the restrictions on the activities of food and beverage service businesses are laid down in section 58a of the Communicable Diseases Act. This temporary section will remain in force until 28 February 2021. Further provisions on restrictions are issued by government decree.

They lay down provisions on the restrictions concerning the opening and licencing hours of food and beverage service businesses by region and type of restaurant. The aim of the restrictions to be imposed based on the epidemiological situation in the region is to reduce people’s social contacts in premises and situations where the COVID-19 disease is known to spread effectively.
 
The restrictions will remain in force only for as long as it is necessary, but no longer than until 15 December 2020. 

Inquiries:

Ismo Tuominen, Senior Ministerial Adviser [email protected] 

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