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Restaurant restrictions extended through September

Restaurants, bars and nightclubs must provide a seat for each customer and enforce social distancing.

Henkilö juo olutta ravintolassa.
Officials say there been few cases of the coronavirus spreading via restaurants or bars (file photo). Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

Despite speculation that it might impose stricter rules on restaurants, the government decided on Thursday to keep the current restrictions in place through the end of September at least.

The guidelines are relatively loose following step-by-step lifting of rules during the summer.

Restaurateurs have been told to ensure social distancing in their premises.

In an effort to avoid overcrowding, restaurants must limit the number of customers to match the seats available. They have been given a list of other measures that must be followed to prevent the spread of illness.

This week All Points North looks at Finland's chances of becoming a safe haven from the Covid-19 pandemic. You can listen to the full podcast via the embedded player here or via Yle Areena, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or your usual podcast player using the RSS feed. Be sure to subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts and sign up for the APN newsletter.

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Audio: Yle News

These include stricter hygiene and cleanliness standards. Customers must be able to wash their hands and all surfaces must be kept clean. Establishments must also publicly display plans for how they comply with the regulations and other responsibilities.

Officials say that, besides a few exceptions, there have not been many documented cases of the coronavirus spreading via restaurants or bars.

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