People enjoyed the summer heat on an outdoor terrace set up at Kasarmintori Square in Helsinki on Tuesday, 22 June 2021. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

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THE GOVERNMENT of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) is likely to ease its restrictions on restaurants virtually across Finland on Thursday, report YLE and Helsingin Sanomat.

The newspaper wrote yesterday that the government is set to lift the restrictions on capacity, opening and serving hours entirely in areas in the baseline stage of the epidemic, but uphold the requirements concerning hygiene, distancing and indoor seating.

Restaurants in Uusimaa, the only area in the acceleration stage of the coronavirus epidemic, will be required to stop serving alcohol at midnight and close their doors an hour later, an increase of two hours compared to the present situation.

The establishments will not be required to limit capacity or assign each patron to a particular seat or table on outdoor terraces. They will nonetheless be required to limit the number of patrons indoors to 50 or 75 per cent of usual full capacity, depending on whether they serve primarily alcohol or food.

Also the requirements concerning hygiene, distancing and indoor seating will remain in place in Uusimaa.

The changes to the restrictions were proposed by a ministerial task force established under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

The task force also forwarded changes to the restrictions on public events organised in areas in the acceleration stage of the epidemic. The attendance limit for events where each attendee is assigned to a seat or a spot in the standing area, it said, should be set at 50 per cent of the full capacity of the venue. If such an event has an attendance exceeding 25, the attendees should be situated in groups of up to 25.

If it is impossible to assign a place for each attendee, the attendance limit would be 10, although the organiser would have the possibility to group the attendees.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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