A bouncer inspected a customer’s coronavirus passport outside Wallis’ Karaoke Bar in Helsinki on 16 October 2021. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)


RESTAURANT OPERATORS in Finland have reacted immediately to the stringent restrictions on restaurants announced yesterday by the government, expressing their decision to introduce the so-called coronavirus passport, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

Noho Partners, the largest restaurant operator in Finland, on Thursday said it will introduce the passport in its restaurants in areas where the virus is spreading within the community on Sunday.

The decision, it revealed, will apply to over 100 bars and restaurants in regions such as Pirkanmaa and Uusimaa.

“Because of the change in the coronavirus situation and regulations, we will adopt the coronavirus passport widely in our restaurants. We want to ensure all our customers have a safe restaurant experience and our staff have a safe work environment,” explained Aku Vikström, the chief executive of Noho Partners.

The government today, as expected, confirmed restrictions on restaurant operations will be ramped up at 12.00am on Sunday. The restrictions will oblige restaurants in areas where the virus is spreading within the community to either adopt the passport or stop serving alcohol at 5pm and close their doors at 6pm.

The details of the restrictions were unveiled yesterday by Minister of Social Affairs and Family Services Krista Kiuru (SDP).

Noho Partners highlighted in its press release that it has already used the passport in several nightclubs and entertainment restaurants. It has positive experiences from using the passport from Denmark.

“Our experiences of using the passport are primarily positive, and it has been smooth to use it in collaboration with our customers. The passport has allowed us to engage in almost normal business activity,” told Vikström.

Also HOK-Elanto announced it intends to introduce the pass in all of its restaurants serving alcohol.

“We have used in about 30 restaurants, but moving forward it will be used in all restaurants serving alcohol from the early morning. It means we can make use of all our customer seats and operate as usual in regards to opening hours,” said Satu Rytkönen, a regional director at HOK Elanto.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT