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Govʼt to decide on abolishing designated shopping times for seniors

The government is expected to make a decision on Wednesday regarding restrictions limiting shopping in supermarkets and pharmacies to people 65 and over, Hungaryʼs Chief Medical Officer said at a daily press briefing on Monday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Cecília Müller said the goal is to put things "back on track" in this area, too.

Since late March, shopping at supermarkets and pharmacies has been limited to 65-and-overs - who are at higher risk of getting ill because of the coronavirus - between 9 a.m. in the morning and noon by government decree. 

Retailers and retail workers have pressed for changes to the rules for weeks, since the lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic was lifted.

Csaba Bubenkó, who heads retail workers union KDFSZ, said in Mondayʼs issue of daily Magyar Nemzet that the restrictions were causing heightened tensions between supermarket staff and shoppers. He added that in some shops there was a complete disregard for the rules.

Fewer hospital beds reserved for coronavirus patients

Müller said 80% of the hospital beds earlier reserved for treatment of COVID-19 patients would now be used to treat patients with other ailments. One-fifth of the beds earlier reserved will remain dedicated to the treatment of people infected with the virus, she added.

A ban on visitors at hospitals will gradually be lifted, although each hospital director will decide on the matter, she added.