Travel outside Europe must be 'radically restricted' - Orbán

Government

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán

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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said restrictions on travel outside of Europe must be tightened to prevent the introduction of coronavirus mutations in the country in a weekly interview on public radio on Friday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Against the backdrop of rising COVID-19 infection numbers driven by the presence of more contagious variants of the virus, Orbán told Kossuth Rádió that pandemic restrictions in place at present must be "observed with great discipline" and said recommendations on tighter restrictions would be considered.

"We'll see what happens in the coming days and, based on that, weigh whether restrictions need to be tightened or not," he said.

"What is certain is that border restrictions must be tightened," he added.

Orbán said he learned on Friday that a "tangible number" of Hungarians were asking for inoculations required for "exotic travel", probably wanting to take advantage of low prices to visit places such as Africa.

He added that he knew of "not just one or two" instances of Hungarians traveling under the pretense of "conducting business" to circumvent restrictions on recreational travel.

"If we let people go to Africa...and they bring home the faster-spreading mutations of the virus...then we're finished," he said.

"That's why I've asked the operative corps to draft very strict rules on travel....Travel outside of Europe, even for business purposes, must be radically restricted because such travel will introduce the new mutations that spread more quickly here," he added.

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