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Restrictions on movement to remain in place in capital, ease elsewhere

Restrictions on movement in force nationwide since March 28 will remain in place in Budapest but be eased elsewhere in Hungary, state news wire MTI reports, citing a Facebook post by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Viktor Orbán (Image by Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock.com)

Speaking after a cabinet meeting, Orbán said the first phase of pandemic defense had come to an end.

"Thanks to our combined efforts, I see that the Hungarian healthcare system is prepared to handle mass infection, too," he said.

"Nobody will be without sufficient care," he added, noting that Hungary is preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.

He said the pandemic defense is entering "a new phase", in which "we can try to restart life in Hungary", following a "gradual and strict" timetable.

"That means that strict defense measures must be maintained for our elderly compatriots and those residing in areas with the highest rates of infection," he added. "Restrictions on movement will remain in place for Budapest and environs."

In the rest of the country, restrictions on business hours will be lifted. Terraces of restaurants and cafes can open for business as well as open-air spas, according to the announcement. Maintaining a distance of 1.5 meters from other people as well as wearing a mask will be compulsory in all businesses as well as on public transport. Regulations allowing Hungarians 65 and older exclusive access to supermarkets and pharmacies in the morning will remain in place.

Details of the new rules will be announced today, the Prime Minister noted. He added the government will review the pandemic restrictions based on consultations with experts every two weeks.

He also announced that restrictions on floristsʼ opening hours would be lifted from Friday "because weʼre getting ready for Motherʼs Day".

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