Orbán outlines next step of reopening plan, terraces to reopen tomorrow


Image by Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com

Outdoor dining will be allowed again from Saturday, as the number of people inoculated against the coronavirus in Hungary has reached 3.5 million, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a weekly interview on public radio. He also outlined the broad range of services which will be available for people with COVID immunity certificates, once the number of inoculated increases to 4 million.

The start of the evening curfew will be pushed back from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. starting tomorrow, Orbán noted.

According to state news wire MTI, the PM said on Kossuth Rádió that the 4 mln threshold could be reached by "Wednesday or Thursday" of the coming week, after which time people with immunity certificates may return to theaters, dance performances, concerts, the circus, cinemas, gyms, swimming pools, baths, skating rinks, zoos, amusement parks, museums, libraries, and sporting events.

Hotels will also re-open to people with immunity certificates as will interior dining areas at restaurants, he added.

Orbán acknowledged "debates over the effectiveness of vaccines", but cited a report he heard earlier Friday "that clearly stated the infection rate for people who received a single jab [of Covid vaccine] is somewhere around 1%".

"Whoever has had their first jab can basically be seen as protected," he said.

Orbán said all Hungarians registered to be vaccinated could be inoculated by "around the middle of May", after which time the chance to be vaccinated in Hungary would be open to any Hungarian national anywhere in the world.

He also said that COVID vaccination would be opened to Hungarians aged 16-18, but only with the Pfizer vaccine. Enough of the Pfizer vaccines are being set aside to inoculate the age group, he added.

Addressing criticism concerning COVID death rates in Hungary, Orbán noted that Hungarian statistics do not discriminate between people who have "died with Covid or died from Covid", while European statistics do.

Commenting on talks scheduled in Brussels later on Friday on Hungary's Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) plan, the PM said the financial issues are "in order", with "3-4 matters remaining open that can be cleared up by the experts".

He said that questions concerning the future of the European Union would be more pressing at the talks.

"A joint economic crisis management program has started in the European Union the likes of which has never been seen. I want to know if it is a one-off or if it will be repeated. I want to see how the EU will prepare for a possible situation similar to the pandemic one at present, and what lessons it has learned from its actions in recent months. I want to see how ties with the new U.S. administration are shaping up, and whether Hungary and the European Union will be squeezed between China and America, or whether, as [French] President Macron has said, there will be strategic sovereignty or autonomy...or whether we'll follow the Americans or our own path," Orbán said.


Czech Economic Confidence Weakens in February Analysis

Czech Economic Confidence Weakens in February

Parliament Elects Sulyok as New Hungarian President Parliament

Parliament Elects Sulyok as New Hungarian President

PwC Hungary to Introduce 4-day Summer Working Week HR

PwC Hungary to Introduce 4-day Summer Working Week

Diversity in Focus at AmCham Hungary's HR Dream Day Conferences

Diversity in Focus at AmCham Hungary's HR Dream Day


Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.