Wearing a face mask and other restrictions lifted throughout Hungary
Hungary crosses 5 million vaccine threshold
Mask-wearing mandate, night-time curfew, outdoor sports ban and free parking come to an end
Numerous Covid-related restrictions lifted across Hungary as the country has met the prerequisite of 5 million people receiving at least one dose of the vaccine, reports MTI.
“We can say goodbye to our masks,” Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in a video message posted on Saturday on Facebook. He said vaccines have proven to be the key to bringing back “Oyour normal, healthy and happy life ”, thanked everyone who had received the jab and urged those who had doubts to join us.
Music and dance events accessible only with vaccination certificates
In addition to the compulsory wearing of the mask in public places, said Orban Radio Kossuth Friday that a number of other outstanding restrictions will be lifted once the coveted vaccination threshold is reached. These include the nighttime curfew, the mandatory closing time for restaurants and shops, and the ban on individual and group outdoor sports.
As far as events are concerned, the picture is less clear. According to Orban, up to 500 people can attend outdoor events, including meetings. Up to 200 people can attend weddings, while participation in private and family events is limited to 50 people. Managers of hotels and restaurants must ensure that customers are kept separate, the prime minister said.
Only people with a vaccination certificate can attend music and dance events, while vaccinated 16-18 year olds can participate in indoor cultural and sporting events, he added.
Operational board dissolved
In his weekly interview with Orban radio, quoted by Hungary today, announced that the national operational council which oversees the response to the pandemic would no longer be active from Friday. Nonetheless, the government will remain ready to respond to future outbreaks as 3 million Hungarian adults remain unvaccinated. In addition, vigilance is needed to ensure that the vaccines used in Hungary also protect against the new variants, the Prime Minister added.
The vaccine breakdown is as follows: in addition to the vaccines already administered, 7.3 million vaccines are in stock or on order from Pfizer, 1.2 million from Moderna, 4 million from Janssen and 4.7 million from Astra- Zeneca. These amounts (not including Chinese and Russian vaccines), would be enough to vaccinate all Hungarians in 2021 and 2022, even with a possible third or even fourth dose, Orban added.
But even so, in order to ensure long-term self-sufficiency, a factory under construction in Debrecen will ensure the production of a Hungarian vaccine in the second half of 2022. With national production “We can guarantee the safety of all Hungarians for decades”, Orban said.
Given the progress of vaccination, the prime minister has speculated that the special legal order that gives the government extraordinary powers to rule by decree without prior parliamentary approval will be lifted this summer.
No more free parking
Due to the drop in the number of cases and the rapid roll-out of the vaccination program, free parking across the country is no longer available from Monday. Free parking was introduced in April 2020 during the first wave of Covid-19 to prevent people from congesting on public transport. The measure ended in July but was reintroduced in November with the curfew and other restrictions when the second wave of the pandemic struck.
Free parking, however, comes at a high financial and environmental price. Local governments, including many Fidesz-controlled administrations, have complained that this robs them of much-needed income, while increasing air pollution and creating a parking crisis.