Customers in Wallis’ Karaoke Bar in Helsinki on 16 October 2021. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)


THE FINNISH HOSPITALITY Association (Mara) has expressed its disapproval of the decision to extend the current restrictions on restaurant operations beyond Monday, 15 November.

With the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) estimating that the risk of transmission is as low in restaurants as in barbershops, hair salons and retail shops, there is no legal justification for continuing to limit the operations of restaurants, according to Mara.

“Except restaurants, the other aforementioned facilities have been subject to no restrictions during the entire coronavirus pandemic. Food restaurants, however, are subject to strict restrictions in areas in the acceleration phase even in circumstances where the vaccination coverage is at 80 per cent,” said Timo Lappi, the managing director at Mara.

Extending the restrictions can also result in an up-tick in the number of parties held in spaces such as private residences where no hygiene rules are observed, it warned. The decision is consequently neither necessary nor proportionate in the sense required under the constitution and communicable diseases act.

Mara also urged all citizens to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

“Getting vaccinated is a social duty, not strictly a private matter,” it stated.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT