Parliament on Monday passed a bill on extending the special legal order in connection with measures to protect the country against the coronavirus pandemic, thus authorising the government to extend related decrees by 90 days.

The law was passed with 133 votes in favour, 55 against, with one abstention.

Justice Minister Judit Varga, in her reasoning attached to the bill, said the approval by lawmakers was “a political recognition of the government’s efforts so far to stop the epidemic”.

Under the new law, interim elections or referendums cannot be held while the special legal order is in force. Votes thus postponed shall be scheduled within 15 days of the special legal order’s termination.

The new law also stipulates that the government should provide regular information about its pandemic-related measures to parliament, or to the house speaker and group leaders when the assembly is not in session.

The law will take effect on the day of its publication for 90 days.

The “special legal order” in connection with the coronavirus epidemic came into effect last year. Hungary’s constitution allows the government to decree for a state of emergency for a period of 15 days, but the approval of two-thirds of lawmakers is required for any extension. A state of emergency allows the government to suspend the application of some legislation, diverge from legal provisions and take other extraordinary measures by decree, details HERE.

Restrictions to stay in place until March 1

The government keeps coronavirus-related restrictions in place until March 1, and secondary schools will continue digital education, read more HERE.

A decree made commercial P+Rs, parking garages and parking lots in residential areas free of charge from 7:00 in the evening until 7:00 in the morning. Soldiers are helping the police in carrying out their duties in public areas. Soldiers have also been assigned to help out staff in 93 hospitals around Hungary.

The curfew is in force between 8pm and 5am, and work carried out beyond the home must be justified.

With the exception of pharmacies and petrol stations, shops can be open until 7pm. Hairdressers, masseurs and personal trainers must observe general curfew rules. Family and private events including birthday celebrations can be held with a maximum of ten people attending, children do not count in the headcount.

A major new rule is that face masks must be worn in public spaces in localities with more than 10,000 residents, though it is up to local mayors to decide which spaces the rule applies to.

Restaurants are limited to offering takeaways,

while hotels are not allowed to cater to tourists, only guests arriving for business, economic or educational purposes. Sports events must be held behind closed doors.

Also, leisure facilities such as fitness gyms, indoor swimming pools, museums, libraries, cinemas, zoos and skating rinks must suspend their services. Events, including cultural events, cannot be held under the special rules.

All news about coronavirus in Hungary.

Source: MTI

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