coronavirus hungary hospital
Photo: MTI/Balogh Zoltán

Fully 272 patients, generally elderly with co-morbidities, died over the past 24 hours, while 4,814 new infections were registered, koronavirus.gov.hu said on Thursday.

So far 2,608,084 people have received a first jab, while 1,077,947 have been fully vaccinated.

The number of active infections has risen to 256,044, while hospitals are caring for 11,663 Covid patients, 1,337 of whom need respiratory assistance.

There are 46,612 people in official quarantine, while 4,825,607 tests have been officially carried out.

Since the first outbreak, 698,490 infections have been registered, while fatalities have risen to 22,681. Fully 419,765 people have made a recovery.

So far, most infections have been registered in Budapest and Pest County, followed by the counties of Győr-Moson-Sopron, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén and Hajdú-Bihar.

Hungary starts to reopen

As Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said, restrictions can only slow down the British variant of the virus, but they cannot eradicate it.

Based on his announcement, the future of restrictions to fight covid will be linked to the progress of the vaccination programme. According to this, the first phase of reopening the country starts once 2.5 million jabs have been administered.

The government decided on this number to be the threshold based on their estimates of vaccinating all those over 65 who registered to get the vaccine by this time. On the other hand, according to many experts, this 25% is very far from the desired 70-80% of herd immunity.

Moreover, the Chief Medical Officer said last Friday that 80% of this group has already received at least their first jab, meaning that 20% of them need to be inoculated over the course of only some days. In his interview on Good Friday, PM Viktor Orbán already referred to the big day when the country can finally start to open again. He gave a rather concrete date: one or two days after Easter Monday, shops and services can resume work.

On Tuesday, Hungary reached 2.5 million administered coronavirus vaccine doses, meaning that the gradual reopening of the country started yesterday. 

Since the need for restrictions is linked to the situation of the pandemic, unless the government changes its mind and rewrites its own decree, here are the rules by which we will live, starting from yesterday: 

  • The curfew will last from 10 pm until 5 am;
  • Shops will be able to stay open longer, until 9:30 pm;
  • The shops (clothes shops, shops in malls, furniture shops) that are currently closed and have been since March 8 can open, on a square-metre basis. 1 costumer/10 square metres/shop;
  • Temporary security measures involving several services will no longer be in effect, meaning that hairdressers and beauty salons and further services can also open – however, under different rules;
  • Nevertheless, businesses of the hospitality sector still cannot open; only the employees can be present at the workplace. Customers can only enter the restaurant to pick up their order. Hotels will remain closed.

In the case of services requiring personal appearance, waiting in front of the business providing a service or in front of a shop in a mall, customers need to keep a distance of 1.5 metres.

Based on the decrees currently in effect, the second phase of the reopening would happen on April 19, with the reopening of schools and kindergartens.

Certain organisations and experts, however, have asked the government to reconsider this decision.

Source: MTI

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