STT: Bar, restaurant restrictions to be extended

The news agency said the government is reviewing how restrictions could be extended before they expire at the end of the month.

Last week THL issued a statement to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health saying infection risks were very significant at establishments serving alcohol late into the night, such as bars and nightclubs, particularly for people who have not been vaccinated. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

Citing government sources, news agency STT reported on Wednesday that Finland's government parties have unanimously agreed that coronavirus-related restaurant and bar restrictions should be extended after they are scheduled to expire at the end of this month.

The news agency said the government is reviewing this week how the restrictions could be extended.

The government parties are concerned about the strain Covid patients have placed on hospitals, and do not think it is realistic to fully lift the restrictions as previously planned

However, establishments located in areas with the worst epidemic situation, that have taken the Covid pass system into use, have been able to avoid restrictions on opening hours, alcohol sales and customer capacities.

The basic purpose of the Covid pass is to allow businesses, such as restaurants or gyms, to circumvent regional coronavirus restrictions by ensuring that customers have been fully vaccinated against the virus, have recently tested negative or have recovered from the virus.

Goal: 80 percent

The government has previously vowed to completely lift coronavirus-related restrictions after 80 percent of the population over the age of 12 have received Covid vaccines.

The Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has estimated that Finland could reach the 80 percent vaccination level by next week.

According to the government hybrid strategy to fight Covid, national restrictions will be dismantled at the point vaccination levels reach 80 percent. But at the same time, there is a shift at local levels to combat the spread of the virus.

Last week THL issued a statement to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health saying infection risks were very significant at establishments serving alcohol late into the night, such as bars and nightclubs, particularly for people who have not been vaccinated.