After May 18, the terraces of the pubs and restaurants in Budapest are allowed to open, but that brought the well-known problems of Budapest’s party district back again. Because of the coronavirus rules, only the terraces can open but thanks to a relevant regulation of the local government, even those have to close at 10 pm.
According to the regulation of the local government in the 7th district, by 10 pm, there cannot be any tables or chairs on the terraces, and that is monitored by the Erzsébetvárosi Rendészeti Igazgatóság, the law enforcement directorate of the 7th district. Furthermore, there have to be 2 metres between the road and the terrace on the pavement for the passengers, the terrace has to be at least 1 metre wide, and there cannot be music.
Owners think that the rules are too strict and some of them started to remain open even after 10 pm. However, according to index.hu, that is not an organised “resistance movement.”
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The new leftist mayor of the 7th district, former MEP Péter Niedermüller’s program was to reform the party district, and he said in this case on his Facebook page that even though the rules mentioned above were written in 2012, nobody checked their application. However, now they will do that, and Niedermüller cleared that
he will not let to any threats.
People living in the district would like to close all the pubs disturbing their good night sleep. But the restaurants and the pubs generate a massive income for the local government’s budget and are not only attractive tourist destinations but also provide a lot of jobs. Therefore, owners say that remaining open is not rule-breaking but their strategy not to bankrupt taken into consideration that because of the coronavirus epidemic, all of them suffered considerable losses in the past few months.
Roland Urbán, one of the restaurants’ owner, said that the core problem is not the 10 pm closure but the fact that
there are no people on the streets.
Furthermore, he said that issuing permissions takes very long for the bureaucracy of the district administration. The mayor says that they do what they can. Since even a couple of weeks can matter for a restaurant some opened without permission already.
Many pub owners say that without tourists it is not worth for them to open but those who have private areas are not subject to the 10 pm closure time so they open and welcome guests during the whole night.
Mr Niedelmüller cleared that
they do not want to create a place for pub crawls but a cultural district.