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Finland to roll back restrictions from mid-Feb

The government has recommended that capacity restrictions within the cultural, sports and event sectors be lifted as of 14 February

By IQ on 03 Feb 2022

Tuska festival, Finland

Tuska festival, Finland


image © Tuska

The Finnish government has announced plans to roll back its Covid-19 restrictions from this month.

According to the cabinet, the number of Covid-19 infections nationwide remains high, but the number of cases requiring intensive care has “decreased considerably”.

Most importantly for the live music sector, the government has recommended that capacity restrictions within the cultural, sports and event sectors be lifted as of 14 February.

From that day, any businesses that primarily serve alcohol will be allowed to serve until 22:00, and remain open until 23:00.

All restrictions on food and beverage service businesses could be lifted completely as of 1 March.

“We believe that we do not currently have the legal prerequisites in place to introduce a Covid pass”

Following the recommendations of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and the Ministry of Justice, Finland will no longer use Covid passes, at least for the time being. Event organisers and certain establishments were allowed to ignore Covid restrictions if they demanded customers present their Covid passes.

While the passes could be reintroduced in the future in case of changing circumstances such as new variants, it would require some amendments to the law.

“We believe that we do not currently have the legal prerequisites in place to introduce a Covid pass,” said Finland’s prime minister Sanna Marin. “The THL feels that there is no longer an epidemiological basis for it; that is, we cannot use the pass to bypass restrictions at this point. It would mean restricting the fundamental rights of a citizen. We cannot do that if it’s not absolutely necessary.”

Today’s news will come as a welcome relief for Finland’s live sector which, according to Pearle’s 2022 Map of Europe, is currently subject to the strictest restrictions in Europe.

 


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