The containment effort of the fight against the coronavirus epidemic is entering a new phase, Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced on his Facebook account on Wednesday evening.
After the cabinet meeting, he informed members of the public that the first phase of the containment effort had come to an end. At the same time, he thanked everyone who has taken part “in the taxing work related to the epidemic”.
Thanks to our joint efforts, Orban believes that Hungarian health care is now fully prepared even for the management of mass incidences. “Today no one should be concerned that they might be left without appropriate care,” the prime minister said, repeating his earlier words, “we are preparing for the worst, but are hoping for the best”.
The PM said the containment effort is entering a new phase. In this, we can now try to restart life in Hungary, but we must proceed gradually, according to a strict timetable, he added.
This means that that we must continue to maintain the rigorous protection of the elderly and our compatriots living in the most infected areas. He drew attention to the fact that infections were mostly concentrated in the capital and in areas and settlements around it. Therefore, in the interest of protecting those who live there, the restrictions on movement will remain in effect in Budapest and its environs, he said.
In the countryside, the restrictions on movement will be replaced with new containment measures, he pointed out.
Shops will be allowed to remain open without restrictions on their opening hours. The terraces and gardens of restaurants and cafes may reopen. Outdoor bathing facilities will be open again for visiting. However, keeping a safe distance of one and a half metres and the covering of the face or the wearing of a face mask will be compulsory in shops and on public transport. The measures relating to the protected time slot reserved for the elderly will be maintained, Orban stated, asking the elderly repeatedly to only leave their homes with caution.
He highlighted that the government is continuously consulting with disease control experts, and they will review the containment rules in effect every two weeks.
At the end of his announcement, Orban also said from Friday flower shops will be allowed to remain open without restrictions on their opening hours as we are preparing for Mothers’ Day. “God bless all mothers! We’re not leaving a single Hungarian by the wayside,” the PM said in conclusion.
We continue to need discipline among members of the public
Members of the public must continue to observe the measures adopted due to the coronavirus epidemic in a disciplined manner because this guarantees the slowing down of the spread of the virus, the Minister of State for International Communication and Relations said on Kossuth Radio’s programme ‘Good morning, Hungary’ on Thursday. Zoltan Kovacs said from Monday new regulations will take effect in rural Hungary; however, in Budapest and its environs, the same restrictions will remain in force as before.
In the countryside, it will be possible to restart services and to extend the opening hours of shops. At the same time, the measures relating to those over 65 will continue to remain in effect. Budapest and its environs must be treated separately because they account for the highest number of infections and also most of the fatalities, he explained.
He added that at the weekend the leaders of settlements would again be given the authority to introduce more stringent measures locally.