'Too early' to ease restrictions, doctors say

Science

The Hungarian Chamber of Physicians (MOK) said it is too early to start easing pandemic restrictions on Wednesday, after an inoculation threshold triggered the re-opening of non-essential businesses, Hungarian news agency MTI reports.

"We believe the start of the opening is too early," MOK's board said in a statement posted on the chamber's website.

"As earlier, we consider an improvement in pandemic data and a reduction in the load on the healthcare system, rather than the current rate of inoculation, to be the condition for opening," it added.

Non-essential businesses were allowed to re-open, business hours were extended, and the evening curfew was shortened on Wednesday, after an inoculation threshold - 2.5 million Hungarians with at least one jab of COVID vaccine - was passed.

MOK said COVID vaccines offer "a reassuring, proven high level of protection only seven days after the second jab", while protection is "only partial" before that and "offers a false sense of security".

The chamber added that longer business hours and a limit on customer numbers in shops is a step in the right direction, but added that it "firmly believes it is too early to open other services and especially schools".

MOK urged Hungarians to stick to their earlier routines and visit shops "only when absolutely necessary", maintain social distancing, wear masks and refrain from visits to friends and relatives.

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