The Mayor of Savonlinna, Janne Laine, proposed to the City Government that it instruct the technical industry to make the permitting process more flexible and faster in restaurant and café terrace expansion projects.
- The goal is for Savonlinna to be the leading terrace restaurant city in Eastern Finland next summer, Laine wrote in her proposal to the city government.
However, the government knocked the proposal down by a vote of 7–4. The majority believes that the city government should not direct the activities of politically independent licensing authorities.
Laine justifies his fallen performance not only with the crown guidelines restricting the operation of restaurants, but also with the fact that the cancellation of the Savonlinna Opera Festival severely vaccinates the city's restaurant industry. Many restaurants have secured their year-round operations with the sale of the opera season.
- The purpose of the annex was to make the authorization of extensions more flexible and to speed up the processing of applications as much as possible within the framework of the regulations.
- In a way, it would have been a question of the city 's response to strict entrepreneurs. The guidelines would not have sought to guide licensing authorities.
Laine also justifies its failed proposal with customer safety.
- The wider the terraces, the better they are able to organize the safety distances for customers. The terraces are also open for dining, where it is safer to organize than indoors. There is no disturbance for the residents of the surrounding terraces either, as they will have to be closed as early as 11 pm.
Eija Stenberg (sd), the deputy chairman of the city government, who submitted the counter-proposal that won the vote, is of the opinion that the city government should not politically guide city officials who issue terrace permits.
- I have nothing against terraces, but according to the administrative rule, the right to decide on terrace permits rests with the infrastructure manager according to the administrative rule approved by the council. It no longer requires separate guidance from the city government. If there is such a need, then a change in the administrative rule must be made.
Many cities have decided to facilitate the permitting process for summer terraces to help restaurant entrepreneurs in distress due to corona restrictions.
Among other things, Helsinki simplifies the permit procedure for terraces and speeds up the processing of applications. There have also been similar plans in Tampere, Turku, Oulu and Kuopio, among others.
Restaurants that have been closed for a couple of months due to the coronavirus were allowed to open their doors in early June, but they are only allowed to take customers indoors to a limited extent.
Terraces are not subject to restrictions, but they must also be secured. Indeed, many restaurants have planned to expand their terraces to provide adequate safety clearances for their customers. In all cases, there are no plans to add customer seats at all.