Tuesday 10/26/21
COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

Government authorizes Finnish bars to sell alcohol until midnight

The ministerial working group proposes to also ease restrictions on public events organized indoors in areas where the epidemic is in the community transmission phase
Customers enjoying a drink on a terrace in Helsinki. Photo: Foreigner.fi.
Customers enjoying a summer terrace in Helsinki. Photo: Foreigner.fi.

The Finnish government will extend the opening an licensing hours of bars, pubs and restaurants as of Thursday 24 June.

The decision has been made following a proposal of the ministerial working group to ease the restrictions on food and beverage service businesses and indoor public events in areas where the epidemic is in the community transmission phase.

According to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the restrictions will be eased as follows:

In areas where the epidemic is at a stable level, all restrictions on customer numbers and opening and licensing hours would be removed. This means that the only restrictions in place would be the obligation to observe the general hygiene guidelines and to keep a safe distance and the obligation to provide customers their own seats when indoors.

In areas in the acceleration phase (this includes the region of Helsinki and Uusimaa), the opening and licensing hours would be extended. Bars and pubs would be allowed to stay open from 5:00 am to 1:00 am and to sell alcohol from 7:00 am to midnight.

Customers will no longer need to be seated at a table when served outdoors.The same general obligations and restrictions in place when the epidemic is at a stable level would apply even when the epidemic is in the acceleration phase.

The restrictions would be eased as of 24 June.

Lighter restrictions for public events

The ministerial working group proposes to also ease restrictions on public events organized indoors in areas where the epidemic is in the community transmission phase.

In these areas, the number of participants may not exceed 50% of the maximum number of people allowed in the premises when participants can be assigned their own seating or standing area. In case more than 25 persons are attending, the premises should be divided into separate blocks of maximum 25 persons to keep groups separate.

Participants and parties must avoid close contact with others. 

Only 10 persons would be allowed to attend an event at the same time if they cannot be assigned their own seating or standing area. Even then, participants could be divided into separate groups.

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