Hungary PM: No Easing of Restrictions Can Be Allowed

For the time being, no easing of any kind can be allowed, but there is a good chance that in Hungary life will become free again before most – or even all – EU countries, and we will have a free summer, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Kossuth Radio’s programme ‘Good morning, Hungary’ on Friday.

Orban also said there is a realistic chance that on 19 April nursery, elementary and secondary schools may reopen.

He highlighted that as queues could develop outside shops, they will consider extending the opening hours of retail outlets, and parallel with this, the beginning of the curfew hours. The Operational Group is debating the detailed rules also at present, he added. He also mentioned regarding the opening of shops that they could switch over to a square metre-based regulation; one person per every ten square metres could be allowed to be present on shop premises, but the details have yet to be determined.

Orban stressed this is a difficult period, at present, we are experiencing the most difficult weeks of the epidemic. We are going through a third wave because the British mutation of the virus has become dominant, and it is capable of infecting three times more people. He asked young people to observe the rules, not only because of their parents and grandparents, but also become of themselves.

Hungary would have the capacity to vaccinate more people, but there are not enough vaccines. At the EU summit that ended on Thursday evening, one could clearly see that countries that did not take timely action to also secure Eastern vaccines and are only relying on the vaccines ordered by Brussels “are far behind us,” he said.

He took the view that they will be able to vaccinate people in the highest numbers in April and May.

According to Orban, it was a flawed decision that EU prime ministers left the procurement of vaccines from Western pharmaceutical companies to Brussels. Instead, they should have said that each country should negotiate for itself, but they believed that together they could be more successful, he recalled. He added that Brussels concentrated more on the price, despite the fact that compared with human lives this is only secondary.

You can read this article as it originally appears at Hungary Journal here.

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(PHOTO: SULTAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

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Hungarian news in English! Your guide to the politics of Hungary.
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