Hospitality Association: Extension of restrictions unreasonable

Restaurant restrictions were meant to expire on Monday.

The introduction of the Covid passport saw nightlife liven up in October. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

The government decided late Wednesday to extend current restaurant restrictions, a move which the Finnish Hospitality Association MaRa condemned as "unnecessary" and "unreasonable".

Restrictions were originally scheduled to expire on Monday, however Minister for Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru (SDP) said that a surge in infections and inconsistent use of the Covid passport has meant that restaurants will need to keep operating at a limited capacity.

Speaking on Yle's talk show A-studio on Wednesday evening, Kiuru criticised pubs and clubs for their 'loose' approach to the passport.

Hospitality sector interest group MaRa responded in a press release (siirryt toiseen palveluun), claiming there is no legal basis for extending restrictions as they are neither necessary nor reasonable, both conditions required by the Constitution and the Communicable Diseases Act.

The group said that the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare (THL) considers restaurants to be as safe as retail shops, barbers and hairdressers while restrictions on nightclubs, on the other hand, result in gatherings being moved to private premises where the observation of rules cannot be monitored.

Read more about the current pandemic situation on our coronavirus news blog.