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Restrictions are strengthened in Budapest again

From 4 November, the government reintroduced special legal order and asked the parliament to extend the special order by 90 days. On Monday, November 10, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced a plan to impose stricter measures in the country in order to slow down the spread of the pandemic. From Tuesday (November 11) midnight, the following restrictions  were introduced for 30 days:

  • The curfew will be extended and will be in effect from 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. – exemption is granted only to those going to and from work, and in exceptional cases.
  • All forms of assembly or gatherings will be prohibited.
  • Restaurants must close, but home delivery services will remain possible.
  • Shops and services (e.g., hair salons) must close by 7 p.m.
  • There will be a general ban on events and gatherings.
  • Family gatherings and private events may only be attended by no more than 10 people.
  • All sporting events must take place behind closed doors, without spectators.
  • Individual sports activities will be possible outdoors, but amateur team sports will be banned.
  • Extracurricular facilities, including gyms, indoor swimming pools, museums, theatres and zoos, are to close.
  • Universities and secondary schools above the eighth grade will return to digital education while facilities for children under the age of 14 will remain open,
  • Kindergartens, nurseries and primary schools will stay open for children under 14.
  • Hospital workers, teachers, and nursery and kindergarten staff will be tested weekly.
  • Weddings can only be held without receptions. Only witnesses, parents, and siblings can attend church and civil ceremonies.
  • Funerals can only be attended by a maximum of 50 people
  • Hotels will be allowed to receive business travellers but not tourists. The state is expected to reimburse hotels for 80 percent of the bookings registered before November 8. However, employers are only eligible for this aide, if they commit to keeping and paying their employees.
  • Employers at restaurants and facilities for extracurricular activities will receive a 30-day exemption from having to pay any contributions. Furthermore, the state will cover 50 percent of these employees’ salaries on the condition that employees keep their jobs and continue receiving their salaries.
  • Safe shopping times are provided for senior citizens: elderly over 65 years of age are allowed to shop all day, however from Monday to Friday between 9-11 am, and on the weekends between 8-10 am only they are allowed to visit stores.

Other rules currently in place:

  • In the morning and afternoon hours, public transport services should operate more frequently, the services of BKK have been operating like this since September.
  • Parking is free of charge again.
  • It is mandatory to wear a mask properly on BKK public transport services. Those who are not wearing a mask, or not wearing it properly can be banned from travelling with an additional HUF 8000 fine. In order to minimalize and deter circumvention, the BKK inspectors are working together with the Municipality of Budapest Law Enforcement Directorate.
  • There is a ban on visiting hospitals and social institutions in the whole country. Visiting is allowed only in special cases: children, women in labour, dying person, or based on principle of individual fairness.
  • Those who are not covering their faces with a mask on MÁV-START and Volánbusz services can be asked to get off the vehicle.
  • Medical, social and public educational programs can only be held online.
  • In Budapest it is required to cover your face with a mask in cinemas, theatres, concerts, during circus performances, also in closed areas of similar institutions and during general meetings in apartment buildings.
  • In the whole country it is required to wear a mask in shopping centres, cinemas, museums, theatres, libraries, post offices and other customer services, as well as public transport services, bus stops, waiting rooms and sports facilities. Breaking the rules can be followed by sanctions. The owner of the location can warn you to wear a mask, but if it is needed, police can be involved. Public health experts can also supervise mask-wearing. It is important to note that scarves are not enough, only proper masks are allowed.
  • The restrictions on entering the country are still active.
  • The duration of the quarantine is reduced from 14 days to 10 days for those who are returning home from abroad.
  • The price of the tests is fixed by the authorities at HUF 19500.
  • From 1 October, it is obligatory to check body temperature in kindergartens, schools and vocational schools.
  • Health, social and public education events can only be held online.
  • Nightclubs are closed.

Source: Centre for Budapest Transport (BKK), Mayor’s Office, koronavirus.gov.hu, MÁV-Group