Hungary reopening photos
Zoltán Balogh/MTI

Based on what the chief medical officer of Hungary told the press today, it seems that the epidemic curve reached its plateau. However, the number of deaths and patients who are treated in hospitals is still very high. Poland, for example, decided to postpone the reopening, but PM Viktor Orbán announced the loosening of restrictions yesterday and stuck to it even today when it came out that the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus has never been this high.

As we reported before, Hungary reached the number of 2.5 million administered vaccine doses yesterday. As a result, most of the shops could reopen today, which was the first step of the reopening process probably lasting until June.

Hungary reopening photos
János Vajda/MTI

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.

On the other hand, according to many experts, this 25% is very far from the desired 70-80% of herd immunity.

Hungary reopening photos
Zoltán Balogh/MTI

Unless the government changes its mind and rewrites its own decree, here are the rules by which we will live, starting from today: 

  • 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 reopen, on a square-metre basis, with 1 customer/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.

Hungary reopening photos
Zoltán Balogh/MTI

Based on the decrees currently in effect,

the second phase of the reopening would start on April 19, with the reopening of schools and kindergartens.

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

Hungary reopening photos
Zoltán Balogh/MTI

Interestingly, according to index.hu,

many gyms opened for the public this morning.

One of the owners said to the news outlet that they keep the 1.5-metre distance and let only one customer per 10 square metres inside. However, the chairman of their advocacy organisation said that the legal framework is not yet clear. Therefore, he would not risk opening for the public because, based on the laws, only professional athletes can enter the gyms. He added that they continue discussions with the relevant government body.

Hungary reopening photos
Hairdressers could also open today. János Vajda/MTI

Some casinos also thought they could reopen at least tomorrow. For example, the Las Vegas Casino on Széchenyi Square announced that they would welcome guests again from tomorrow morning. However, later, they updated the post saying that the reopening has been postponed.

Today, the operative body said that 3.9 million Hungarians had already registered for the vaccine while 1.6 million of them were still waiting to get their first jab.

Source: Daily News Hungary

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