Differentiating between the vaccinated and non-vaccinated would be justified from a constitutional point of view, the prime minister’s chief of staff told a government press briefing on Wednesday, adding that the government will wait as long as it can with introducing any regulations that differentiate between them.
For the time being, school closures are not planned because of the pandemic but the government may make a decision to this effect in the future. The state of special legal order must be maintained partly because it enables introducing such changes without lengthy legislation, he said. All decisions are being made after consultations with experts and based on various statistics, he said. In the fourth wave, the number of infections must be assessed differently than in previous waves because thanks to vaccination, fewer people end up in hospital and fewer need a ventilator.
Commenting on the upcoming hunting expo, he said the cabinet decided that the current number of infections does not justify requiring participants to have immunity certificates. In response to a question on mandatory mask wearing, he said introducing such a requirement would suggest that in effect it is similar to vaccination.
In response to another question, he said the extension of the state of special legal order did not affect the opposition primaries and people are free to submit their votes in person. Gulyás expressed the view that the fourth wave would affect the country’s operations to a lesser extent than previous waves.
The government would like Hungary to start producing coronavirus vaccines but no agreements have been signed yet with any manufacturers.
Commenting on the outgoing government in Norway and related corruption charges, he said it would be good if Norway, as a member of the European Economic Area (EEC), could clear these issues, which he said also involved the possibility of foreign influence. Gulyás said Norwegian government comments concerning monies due to Hungary from the Norway Fund lacked seriousness. Hungary is waiting for the new Norwegian government to be formed, he said. If an agreement cannot be reached with them, legal tools are available to settle the issue, the strongest argument being that unanimity is required to maintan the EEA.
Gulyás reiterated the government’s position that amending the Ukrainian education law which he described as “intolerable, going against all basic human rights principles” was a precondition for Ukraine’s NATO accession.
He added that the US could do the most in order for progress to be made in this issue.
In response to a question on migration, he said it required three thousand police and soldiers to be present at Hungary’s southern borders, which put a significant burden on these organisations. The pressure of migration could grow further on these borders and it could become stronger than in 2016, which will require even further staff to be sent there, he added.
He reiterated that Hungary would not be willing to let in migrants.
In response to a question regarding whether international organisations or other states may interfere in the Hungarian general elections next year, Gulyás said “the majority of western European governments would be happy to see the right wing not win”. If no agreement is made on the transfer of funds to Hungary from the European Union’s recovery plan, it will show that “the European Commission wants to participate in the campaign on the side of the opposition”, he said. However, the government has made every effort to avoid this risk, he added.
Gulyás also said that it was “unimaginable” that gay marriage would be legalised in Hungary.
He added that the government’s view is that “same-sex marriage does not exist”.