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Government reveals latest bar and restaurant restrictions

The measures come into effect on Saturday and vary depending on the epidemic phase of each region.

Asiakkaita yökahvilassa karaokebaari Populuksessa Helsingissä
Bars and restaurants in the spreading and accelerating phase of the epidemic must stop serving alcohol at 10pm. Image: Mikko Stig / Lehtikuva

The government has further tightened restrictions on the opening hours and customer capacity limits of bars and restaurants across Finland, which are due to come into effect on Saturday 5 December.

The latest measures vary depending on whether the region is considered to be in either the base, acceleration or community transmission or 'spreading' phase of the epidemic.

The provinces of Uusimaa, Päijät-Häme, Northern Ostrobothnia, Kymenlaakso and Kanta-Häme are all currently in the spreading phase. Therefore all bars and restaurants in these regions must stop serving alcohol at 10pm and close their doors at 11pm.

Restaurants can open at 5am, but they can't sell drinks that are more than 2.8 percent alcohol before 7am.

Provinces considered to be in the acceleration phase of the epidemic include Southwest Finland, Pirkanmaa, South and Central Ostrobothnia, Ostrobothnia, South Karelia, Satakunta, Central Finland and Kainuu.

In these regions the serving of alcohol must also end at 10pm, with doors closing by 11pm. Cafes and restaurants serving food can stay open until 12pm.

Bars, pubs and nightclubs in both the spreading and accelerating regions must also limit customer numbers to half the capacity, while restaurants and cafes are permitted to accommodate up to three-quarters of the normal number of customers.

Guidelines on safety distances, hand hygiene remain

Only five provinces are currently at the base level: Lapland, North Karelia, South Savo, North Savo and Åland. In these regions, bars and restaurants must stop serving alcohol at 12am and close their doors at 1am.

In the base regions, there are no limits on the number of customers allowed on the premises at any given time.

The following restrictions and hygiene guidelines will also remain in force to all bars and restaurants throughout the country:

- Each customer must have their own seat.

- Each premises is responsible for ensuring adequate safety distances between customers.

- Customers must have access to hand washing facilities, which must be kept clean.

- Customers should be kept informed on how to prevent coronavirus infections.

The latest measures are valid until mid-December.

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