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PM Orban details new measures to curb the pandemic

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has announced new measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus epidemic. We are expecting some difficult months but we must take care of the most vulnerable people, the prime minister said.

Hungary is introducing stricter measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, PM Viktor Orban announced in a video message on Facebook. Hungary currently has over 80 thousand active cases and the death toll stands at 2493.

The Hungarian prime minister underlined that hospitals in Hungary are fully equipped. They have enough beds, ventilators, and sufficient staff, he said, adding that in order to avoid overwhelming the healthcare system, new measures are needed.

Regarding the general course of the epidemic, Hungary tends to follow Austria with a delay of 1 to 2 weeks, the Hungarian premier said, adding that Hungary will, therefore, impose restrictions similar to the ones in the neighbouring country. Stricter measures will take effect from midnight on Thursday and remain in place for 30 days, but they can be extended if necessary.

The following restrictions will be introduced:

  • There will be a curfew between 8 pm and 5 am, with the exception of travelling to or returning from work, or emergency cases.
  • Restaurants will be closed. Only home delivery is allowed.
  • Shops and hair salons will close at 7 pm.
  • Hotels in Hungary can only receive business guests, but no tourists.
  • There will be a general ban on events. Family gatherings or private events can be attended by up to ten people.
  • Weddings can only be held without parties, with only those required to officiate the ceremony, as well as the witnesses and the parents and siblings of the bride and the groom being allowed to be present.
  • Funerals may be attended by up to 50 people.
  • Sporting events will be held behind closed doors.
  • Only individual sport activities are allowed outdoors, amateur team sports are banned.
  • Leisure facilities such as zoos, theatres, museums, indoor pools and gyms will be closed.
  • Tertiary education will continue online, student hostels will be closed.
  • Digital education will be introduced in secondary schools for students above 8th grade.
  • Hospital staff, school teachers, kindergarten and nursery school staff will be subject to targeted testing.
  • For hotels, lost profits will be refunded by the state for 80 percent of bookings made until 8 November for the first 30 days after closing. This is conditional on workers not being made redundant and receiving their salaries.
  • Restaurants and leisure facilities do not have to pay tax contributions after their employees for these 30 days and the state will reimburse half of the employees' wages, on condition that they are not laid off and continue to receive their pay.

"I know and we all know that it will not be easy; the next few weeks will be tough. But the vaccine is in sight, we have to hold out until that," PM Orban said. He underlined that in the meantime, those who are old, sick and vulnerable must be protected, and the rules must be observed.

"Let's take care of each other! If we cooperate, together we will succeed again," the Hungarian prime minister concluded his announcement.

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