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Bar and restaurant restrictions to ease from Thursday

Closing times in the capital have been extended to midnight while regions where new case numbers are at the lowest level will ditch restrictions altogether.

Vaelsa-ravintolan terassilla Helsingissä lounastettiin päivällä.
Closing time and capacity restrictions on bars and restaurants ease from Thursday. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

Bars and restaurants get some more breathing room across the country from Thursday, following a summer which saw the reintroduction of closing time and capacity restrictions.

Areas in the community transmission phase of the government's three-tier pandemic assessment model will finally see bars and restaurants stay open until midnight with alcohol service allowed until 11 pm. In addition to Uusimaa, other areas currently classified as being in the community transmission phase are Southwest Finland, Pirkanmaa, Kymenlaakso, South Karelia, Ostrobothnia and South Ostrobothnia.

In regions in the acceleration phase such as Kanta-Häme, Päijät-Häme and North Savo, bars will be able to keep the party going for two hours longer, with alcohol service ending at 1 am and doors shut an hour later.

The regions of Åland, Central Finland, Lapland and North Karelia, which are classified as baseline-stage areas, will see all restrictions lifted. This means that bar and restaurant owners will no longer have to ensure that there is a seat for each customer.

The updated regulations will be in force until the end of October.

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