Alcohol restrictions amid COVID-19 virus outbreak

On March 17 the Estonian Government approved a nightly ban on alcohol sales across Estonia, extending it from stores to all dining facilities. Starting from March 18 it is possible to sell alcohol in restaurants, pubs, bars and other catering establishments and hotels from 10am to 10pm. Night sales of alcohol from 10 pm to 10 am are prohibited until the end of the emergency situation.

The restriction on the retail sale of alcohol is necessary in order to prevent cases of alcohol abuse that burden both the medical system and the police during the emergency situation.

On Tuesday (March 24), the Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart put forward several proposals to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas to tighten restrictions in the capital during the emergency situation and to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The city thinks the rules regarding the selling of alcohol between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. need to be better enforced and, together with the municipal police, found many violations on a recent spot check.

The same day Estonian government did introduce strict new restrictions, among which was also a decision that from 27 March, bars and clubs must be closed at 10pm in the evening, except for take-away food distribution and home delivery. Other entertainment venues, such as bowling and billiard clubs, hookah cafes and adult clubs, will be closed from 27 March.

Ban on service of alcohol in Oslo

From 20:30 on Saturday, 21 March 2020, service of alcohol will be prohibited in all restaurants and bars in Oslo. Establishments serving food or take-away may remain open.

These guidelines apply to restaurants and bars in Oslo:
# All licensed establishments serving alcohol, such as bars, pubs, nightclubs and similar, must stay closed.
# Only food-service establishments with a kitchen and serving food at the table are permitted to stay open.
# Establishments that did not serve food when the regulation came into force must stay closed.
# Establishments offering frozen pizza or toast are not reckoned as food-service establishments in the sense of the regulation.
# Guests must keep a distance of minimum one meter from each other.
# There must never be more than 50 persons, including staff, in the premises.
# Self-service from a buffet is not permitted.

Finland will close restaurants

On March 24 Finland Government decided to close restaurants, but pick-up food can be requested. The proposal has to be supported by the Parliament.

Once the restrictions take effect sitting in restaurants, bars, pubs, or cafes is no longer allowed, but pick-up foods can be ordered at home. In other words, the restaurants are closed, except for the takeaway food. Alcohol should still not be sold out and there is no change.