HELSINKI – New restrictions as COVID-19 situation worsens

Following the marathon-like negotiations on the coronavirus situation, the Finnish government came out late on Tuesday evening (29 September) with a set of new restrictive measures.

Restaurants, bars and nightclubs will have to close at 1 am and serving alcohol is only allowed until midnight.

The new regulations come into effect on 8 October and will be in place until the end of the month, though the government confirmed it would assess the situation on a weekly and geographical basis and tighten the regulations accordingly, if necessary.

Like in the rest of Europe, younger adults (20-29 years of age) are the group accounting for most cases of the virus and the pandemic in Finland has now officially entered the acceleration phase, the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has announced.

For many restaurants and clubs, the government’s decisions may be the last nail in the coffin as the early hours after midnight are often the most profitable ones.

The Finnish Hospitality Association is predicting bankruptcies and rising unemployment.

(Pekka Vänttinen |

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