People in the restaurant.

The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group proposes stricter restrictions on the restaurant industry to the Finnish Government

The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group proposes to the Finnish Government to extend the restrictions on the restaurant industry beyond 15 November 2021. The opening hours of restaurants should also be more restricted and serving alcohol should be stopped earlier than at present. With the forthcoming festive season in mind, the restrictions on restaurants serving food should also be extended by reducing the maximum number of seats allowed and narrowing the opening hours.

The need for hospital care in the Metropolitan Area has increased as well as the burden on specialist care. The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group assesses that the fluctuating nature of the epidemic, the slowing of the increase in vaccination coverage and the threat of a higher increase in hospital burden call for new targeted and effective containment measures to mitigate the epidemic.

In principle, restrictions on the restaurant industry should remain in place over the Christmas season in order to influence the waves of the epidemic and not be lifted in the middle of the festive season.

Restaurants have the possibility to waive the restrictions by requiring the COVID-19 passport from its customers. The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group encourages restaurants to make full use of the COVID-19 passport within the existing restrictions.

The need to wear a face mask is emphasised, especially for unvaccinated persons in all indoor public spaces and for the general population in public transport and indoor spaces where there are many people close to each other.

The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group prepares local decision-making

The Cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, and the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland established the Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group on 10 September 2020. In line with a regional operating model devised by Finland’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the group aims to strengthen the formation of a common situational assessment and to coordinate and prepare local and regional measures.

The group consists of top management from each member organisation and is responsible for the preparation and coordination of decision-making based on a shared assessment of the situation. Each member makes decisions independently, within its own sphere of authority. The group further intensifies the close metropolitan area collaboration that has continued throughout the coronavirus crisis.

The City of Helsinki is responsible for organising the group’s operations.

In addition to the Cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, the City of Kauniainen also follows the restrictions and recommendations of the coordination group.

Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group

Photo: Jussi Ratilainen / (c) Sofia Future Farm