Hungary in Last Phase of ‘War against Coronavirus’

Hungary’s two-week lockdown from Monday will start “the last phase of the war against coronavirus”, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told public broadcaster Kossuth Radio.

The prime minister said that crèches would stay open for the time being, and florists will also be allowed to open on March 8, international women’s day. Orbán said he was certain that the lockdown would be “the home stretch” in the fight against the virus, adding that the government had “no other choice” than to introduce further restrictions after experts had warned of “disastrous” consequences unless they make the move. “We must now lock down so we can reopen around Easter,” the prime minister said. Services crucial for people’s daily routine such as grocery stores and shops selling tools for “spring gardening” will stay open, but “everything else” including restaurants, casinos, hotels, and shops selling electronics or entertainment will stay closed, he said. Orbán said that wage subsidies and tax benefits currently offered to tourism-related business would be extended to other sectors impacted by the new restrictions. Tenants in municipally and state-owned properties will be exempted from paying rents for the whole month of March, he added.



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