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Parliament approves restaurant closures

MPs on Saturday approved a government proposal banning restaurant dining.

Mies syö lounasaikaan ravintolassa.
Many restaurants in Finland have already closed their doors. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

A governement measure is expected to close restaurants in Finland through the end of May. Take-away orders would still be permitted.

The decree would come into effect on Monday at the earliest. Lawmakers are still demanding that the administration justify why restaurants are being forced to close nationwide instead of locally in areas affected by coronavirus.

Many restaurants, cafes and bars around Finland have have already closed their doors.

Opposition parliamentarians are meanwhile demanding that the government outline how it will support entrepreneurs during the ban.

Speaking at parliament's plenary session on Saturday, Prime Minister Sanna Marin promised the government would help businesses.

"I wouldn’t want to see a situation like the 1990s recession when companies went bankrupt, people had sad destinies and many families broke up," she said.

On Thursday parliament approved a one billion-euro support package for struggling companies.

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