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03 Nov 2020 | 04:01 PM UTC

Hungary: Authorities impose nightly curfew and close entertainment venues November 3 /update 16

Authorities impose nightly 00:01 – 05:00 curfew and close entertainment venues from November 3; follow official directives

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HUN

Event

Hungarian authorities announced on Tuesday, November 3, that a "special legal order" is to be imposed from midnight on Tuesday which will see a nightly curfew introduced and bars and entertainment venues close. Prime Minister Viktor Orban is set to request that parliament extend the order by 90 days. The curfew will be in effect from 00:01 until 05:00 (local time) daily. The new measures have been introduced in efforts to prevent hospitals reaching capacity by mid-December, amid the increasing spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Schools will remain open and as of October 1, only teachers and students are allowed into school buildings and will be required to undergo temperature screening upon entry. Shops and restaurants will also stay open and football matches will continue to be played in front of spectators nationwide. Indoor events with over 500 attendees are currently banned. Face masks remain mandatory in public spaces and in public transport, as well as in health and social care institutions and public offices. Those found to be violating the measures will be fined and offending restaurants and shops may also be closed by authorities. Additional restrictions may be introduced by local authorities.

Hungarian authorities have extended current border restrictions until December 1 amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Only citizens of the Visegrad Four Group, which includes the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia, are allowed to enter the country. These travelers will be required to provide a negative PCR test for COVID-19 acquired no more than five days prior to arrival. Exceptions are in place for military convoys, foreign diplomats, international students, freight transporters, business travelers, persons in transit, and humanitarian aid. Hungarian nationals and residents returning home from abroad will be required to either self-quarantine or produce two negative PCR tests for COVID-19 taken two days apart.

As of November 3, there have been 86,769 cases of COVID-19 and 1973 associated fatalities in Hungary. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in 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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

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

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.

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.

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