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09 Apr 2020 | 01:45 PM UTC

Hungary: Government indefinitely extends nationwide lockdown April 9 /update 4

Hungary indefinitely extends nationwide lockdown on April 9 due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) concerns; follow government directives

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Event

On Thursday, April 9, Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced that a nationwide lockdown set to expire on April 11 has been indefinitely extended to prevent further spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Individuals are only permitted to leave their homes for essential needs, limited exercise, and work-related reasons. All educational institutions and shops except for food stores, pharmacies, petrol stations, and drug stores remain closed. Restaurants are limited to takeout service. Between 09:00 and 12:00 (local time), only people over 65 will be granted priority access to groceries, drugstores, and pharmacies. Anyone violating the restriction will face a fine up to EUR 1400.

As of April 9, Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD) remains open, though only Hungarian citizens and permanent residents of the European Economic Area (EEA) are permitted to enter the county.

On Monday, March 16, Prime Minister Orban announced that Hungary will close its land borders to foreign travelers; the restriction does not apply to Hungarian nationals.

To date, there have been 980 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 66 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.