Photo: www.facebook.com/Koronavírus tájékoztató oldal
The government is launching its latest National Consultation public survey concerning when to lift coronavirus restrictions during the week of Feb. 15, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff said on Friday.
Gergely Gulyás told an online press conference that the second wave of the pandemic in Hungary was in a phase of stagnation, meaning any easing of restrictions would have to be “cautious and gradual”.
If current trends continue, the restrictions may be eased in two steps, on March 1 and a month later, he said.
Concerning vaccinations, Gulyás noted Hungary has effective agreements with Russia and China, giving the country a good chance of inoculating “significantly more” people in February and March than other European Union countries.
Gulyás said it was important for the government to implement measures that had widespread public support and to consider what measures Hungarians would be willing to accept and suffer.
Whereas the epidemic had appeared to be waning up to the end of last week, it now seemed to be stagnating, he said, adding that a new variant of the virus spreading faster than earlier ones may be a factor.
Hopefully a third wave could be prevented, he said.
The Prime Minister’s chief of staff noted that health-care staff, alongside residents and employees of homes for the elderly, have now been inoculated.
Gulyas mentioned Portugal as a negative example, a country which eliminated all restrictions for the winter holidays and was now suffering from extremely high coronavirus numbers.
Restaurants, gyms exempted from rent payments in until May 31
The government has decided to grant exemption to restaurants, cafes and gyms from paying rent on state or municipally owned properties between Feb. 1 and May 31.
Gergely Gulyás said that granting a similar exemption to tenants of privately owned properties would also be a “legitimate” proposal.
Gulyás argued that Hungarian law offered a possibility for withholding rental payments in vis major situations in which the tenant was prevented from generating revenue.
But the government “does not wish to mediate in legal disputes between private partners,” he added.