Restaurants across Finland can open to customers on Monday 19 April with restrictions
Restaurants and other food and beverage service businesses must remain closed to customers until Sunday 18 April 2021 in regions where it is necessary to stop the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic. The closure will end in North Savo on Friday 16 April 2021 because the epidemic situation there has improved.
Restaurants can open to customers throughout Finland on Monday 19 April 2021. However, they must observe temporary restrictions on opening hours, licensing hours, number of customers, use of premises by customers, and movement of customers in the premises.
Closure in force in areas where epidemic situation is the most serious
Provisions on the closure of restaurants and other food and beverage service businesses are laid down in the Act on Accommodation and Catering Operations. Under the Act, the Government must amend the decree on the regions that the closure applies to if closure in a given region is no longer necessary.
The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare issued its latest assessment of the epidemic situation in the regions on Wednesday 14 April 2021. Based on the assessment, the closure is no longer necessary in North Savo. For this reason, the Government amended the decree on the regions that the closure applies to on Thursday 15 April 2021.
Restaurants must be closed to customers in the following regions until Sunday 18 April 2021:
- Southwest Finland
- South Karelia
- South Savo
- North Karelia
- Central Finland
The following regions do not fall under the closure requirement: Åland, South Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, Central Ostrobothnia, Lapland, North Ostrobothnia and North Savo. Restaurants in these regions must comply with the restrictions laid down in the Communicable Diseases Act and in the regulations issued under it.
Restrictions on opening hours, licensing hours and number of customers
After the closure ends, restrictions on food and beverage service businesses will continue based on the provisions of the Communicable Diseases Act and the Government Decree issued under it. The President of the Republic is expected to approve the amendments to the Communicable Diseases Act on Friday 16 April 2021. Following the approval of the Act, the Government can issue a decree laying down more detailed provisions on restrictions on food and beverage service businesses on Friday. These restrictions are due to enter into force on Monday 19 April 2021 when the closure ends.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will provide more information about the restrictions on restaurants on Friday 16 April 2021.
Applications for closure compensation to be accepted from 12 May
Restaurants and other companies that have been shut down by law or order of an authority may be entitled to closure compensation. This new form of compensation applies to small and micro-sized enterprises that employ a maximum of 49 employees.
Applications for the closure compensation will be accepted from 12 May 2021. Companies can apply for the compensation at the State Treasury.
Closure compensation for larger companies is under preparation. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is currently negotiating with the European Commission about the terms and maximum amount of support for large companies.
Liisa Huhtala, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7062 (closure of restaurants)
Ismo Tuominen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected] (restrictions based on the Communicable Diseases Act)
Mikko Huuskonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 063 732 (closure compensation)