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May 22, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

Operation Group: Thanks to successful economic measures, billions remain with Hungarian companies

At today's Coronavirus Operational Group press conference, the State Secretary for Tax Affairs at the Ministry of Finance talked about the economic measures and tax benefits the government has provided companies. Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller drew attention to the flattening of the epidemic curve.

During today’s Operational Group press conference, Norbert Izer, State Secretary for Tax Affairs at the Ministry of Finance, reported on the economic measures taken by the government. 

He pointed out that 151,000 self-employed operating under the KATA tax vehicle have been granted tax exemptions, so they don’t have to pay their fixed monthly taxes until June 30. This measure represents a tax benefit of HUF 26 billion. The state secretary said that these entrepreneurs also received a 10-month tax debt deferral payment, meaning a total of HUF 14 billion remained with these companies.

Other economic players have received HUF 66 billion in tax benefits from the state, said Izer. As a result of the measures taken, more than HUF 100 billion remained with these companies, he said. According to data from Hungary’s national tax office (NAV), more than 360,000 workers have been able to stay working in affected sectors due to the government’s actions.

Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller was on hand with fresh coronavirus numbers. The number of official infections stands at 3,678, while the number of deceased is 476. The total number of active COVID-19 cases is 1,615. The results show that 44 percent of those infected, 61 percent of the deceased, and 48 percent of those recovered are in Budapest or Pest County. There are currently 483 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, 23 of whom are on ventilators.

She also reported that the number of infected in Hungary is 37.6 per 100,000 people. In Budapest, this ratio is 100, while it is 90 in Zala County and 87 in Fejér County. The number of deceased is five for every 100,000 people. 

The CMO said the epidemic curve is still trending downwards. She also reported that the development of the national vaccine factory has begun, and the development of the vaccine against the coronavirus has started, following the government’s own research plan.

Lieutenant Colonel of the Hungarian Police Róbert Kiss announced that Austrian and Hungarian citizens can now enter both countries without home quarantine if they provide written proof – no older than four days – that they are not infected with the coronavirus. According to another decree, a Slovak citizen may enter Hungary for personal reasons if their stay does not exceed 24 hours.

Kiss also noted that Romanian citizens arriving at or traveling to Budapest’s Liszt Ferenc Airport are exempt from the official home quarantine rules. The condition for entry for transit passengers is that they submit to a medical examination, have a valid flight ticket, and are allowed access to the destination country. However, Kiss noted that the wait is unfortunately a couple of hours at several border crossings.

The lieutenant colonel further reported that there are more than 11,500 official quarantines currently in place and that the police are investigating 105 cases for the spread of fake news.