Parliament is currently considering a proposal to amend the Communicable Diseases Act. In the proposal, the powers of municipalities and regional government agencies would be increased so that they could close premises related to private business or hobbies, such as public premises in shopping centers.
Tourism- and MaRa, representing the restaurant industry, is calling for changes the Infectious Diseases Act currently before Parliament.
Among other things, the organization demands that the state reimburse the costs of closure if the authority closes the company’s premises under the Communicable Diseases Act.
With the amendment to the Communicable Diseases Act, the powers of municipalities and regional government agencies would increase so that they could close premises related to private business or hobby activities, such as public premises in shopping centers.
As the epidemic escalates, swimming pools, spas, amusement parks, congress and exhibition centers, for example, could also be closed for a limited period. MaRa represents several of these actors.
Organization recalls that when Parliament debated a bill to close restaurants last spring, Parliament demanded that reasonable damage to restaurants be compensated in connection with the closure.
“The message from Parliament and its Constitutional Committee is clear. The Communicable Diseases Act must make explicit provision for the state to compensate companies for reasonable damage caused by the closure of their establishments, ”says MaRan’s CEO Timo Lappi in the bulletin.
According to MaRa, any new cost support is not sufficient compensation for the damage caused by the closure of the site in a situation where the authority decides to close the site, even though the company has acted in accordance with laws and guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
MaRa recalls that the coronavirus and the restrictions imposed by it have already placed a significant burden on the tourism and restaurant sector, and that customers will be cautious, at least until the summer. Now, according to the organization, there are also industries under threat of closure in which no significant chains of infection have emerged.
“The companies in our industry are in such poor condition in the wake of the interest rate crisis that their locations cannot be closed for security reasons. The legislator must show that the coronavirus has spread in them and that they are therefore conditions that are considered particularly risky, ”says Lapland.
In the bill, one of the preconditions for closing a company would be that the epidemic is in the spread area of the hospital district, ie the incidence rate is at least 50. MaRa believes that the number should be raised to 100 in order to protect the position of entrepreneurs and workers.