Guidelines for restaurants
The guidelines have been updated on to comply with the Decree issued by the Finnish Government on 18 June 2020.
In force from 13 July to 31 August 2020.
Should the epidemiological status in Finland change, the Regional State Administrative Agency will review these guidelines.
Plan to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease among customers
These instructions have been drawn up in accordance with the Government Decree on temporarily restricting the operations of restaurants to prevent the spread of an infectious disease, issued under section 58 (a) of the Communicable Diseases Act.
These instructions do not replace a restaurant's other self-supervision plans. These premises will be subsequently referred to as restaurants.
The business owner of a restaurant is obligated to draw up a plan to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease among customers.
General obligations of restaurants
Restaurants must clearly inform their customers that no-one may enter the premises with symptoms matching coronavirus infection, such as coughing, throat pain, fever or shortness of breath.
The restaurant must ensure that:
- the customers have a clearly visible possibility to wash or disinfect their hands when arriving at the restaurant;;
- any furniture, dishes, cutlery and other customer contact surfaces and objects are kept clean so that they do not create a risk of spreading the infectious disease;
- the customers have clearly visible instructions for cleaning their hands, for maintaining a safe distance to others, and other instructions for preventing the spreading of the infectious disease within the premises.
Placing customers and maintaining sufficient distance between customers
All restaurant customers must have their own seat at a table or a similar surface.
Restaurants must organise the structures and furniture of their indoor and outdoor facilities and determine customer service practices to ensure that customers are not exposed to the infectious disease.
Restaurants must ensure in particular that there is no unnecessary crowding in its premises and that the arrival of customers in the restaurant is carried out so that a sufficient distance between customers and groups is maintained.
Customers are taken in at any one time so that there is enough room in the customer premises (both indoors and outdoors).
The prevention of crowding must be taken into account (e.g. bar counters and washroom queues).
Plan content requirements:
- A description of the policies adopted by the restaurant in order to comply with the general obligations.
- A description of the indoors and outdoors premises of the restaurant and a description of the measures and instructions given to staff for implementing the other obligations laid down in section 58 (a) of the Communicable Diseases Act and supervising their implementation indoors and outdoors at the restaurant.
- Information on the person responsible for the implementation of the plan in the restaurant.
Information on the person responsible for the plan must be provided to customers on request.
NOTE: The person's name is not added to the plan visible to customers; the name is provided to customers only upon request.
The plan is considered to be visible to customers if its summary is visible to customers when they enter the restaurant and it states that customers have the right to see the plan upon request. The plan may be combined with self-supervision plans referred to in the Alcohol Act, the Food Act (23/2006) and the Tobacco Act (549/2016).
Customers must follow restaurant policies and instructions given by staff. If a customer does not comply, the restaurant staff have the right to remove the customer from the premises under the Act on accommodation and restaurant operations (308/2006, section 5).
The supervision of restaurants and following the requirements of the restrictions
The Regional State Administrative Agency supervises the compliance with requirements and restrictions. If shortcomings or flaws are found in the compliance with obligations or restrictions, the Regional State Administrative Agency may issue the restaurant with an order to correct them. The order must include a time limit for taking the necessary measures. If the shortcomings have not been rectified within the given time or if obligations have been substantially violated, the Regional State Administrative Agency may order the restaurant to cease any service operations immediately and to be closed to customers for a maximum of one month.