Restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs to close until end of May

The new restrictions could be in place as early as Saturday, and remain until the end of May.

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (L) and Labour Minister Tuula Haatainen (R) leaving House of the Estates Helsinki, 24th March 2020 / Credit: Laura Kotila, VNK

New restrictions to close restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs are being discussed in Parliament on Tuesday but expected to go into force as soon as Saturday.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) and Labour Minister Tuula Haatainen (SDP) said this evening that for now the restrictions remain in place until the end of May, but could end sooner than that if the situation allows.

A ministerial briefing on the subject, where more information about possible domestic travel restrictions was also expected, was canceled.

“Restaurants will be closed, but food can be picked up or ordered online” said Haatainen outside the House of the Estates in Helsinki where talks had been taking place all day on the new measures.

“Kitchens can operate, but customers can’t stay there to eat food together” she explained.

The restrictions apply to all outlets that serve food or alcohol and the restrictions are intended to slow the spread of Covid-19.