Finland to let restaurants reopen from June 1 as COVID-19 curbs ease
Finland will lift some coronavirus restrictions, allowing restaurants to reopen gradually and public services including libraries and sports facilities to start operating again from June 1, the government said on Monday, Trend reports citing Reuters.
A ban on public meetings will be relaxed from a maximum of 10 people to 50 people from June 1, but emergency powers will be kept in place, it said.
Essential travel, such as work related journies, to countries in Europe’s Schengen open-border area will be allowed from May 14, interior minister Maria Ohisalo said.
Sports events and competitions will also begin from June 1, under special arrangements, such as restrictions on allowing audiences on site.
Last week, the government decided to reopen schools from May 13.
As of Monday, Finland had 240 deaths and 5,327 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to health authorities.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin said the disease’s reproduction rate, known as the RO, had fallen to 0.8 in recent days, meaning the outbreak was shrinking.
“The coronavirus epidemic’s expansion has stopped in Finland due to the restrictions and clear improvements in hygienic behaviour,” the government said in a statement, adding there was still a threat of the epidemic regaining strength.
The reopening of restaurants on June 1 is subject to an epidemiological assessment closer to the date and the government will change legislation in order to set restrictions on opening hours and maximum number of customers.