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May 01, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

Operational Group: Hungary’s economic protection measures are unique in the world

The moratorium on loan repayments, as a part of Hungary’s economic protection measures, is unique in the world, said Gábor Sion, state secretary of finance, at today’s Operational Group press conference.

Touching upon the economic measures taken by the Government, Gábor Gion, state secretary for finance at the Ministry of Finance, said at today’s Operational Group presser that “the moratorium on loan repayments is one of the first elements of the government’s economic protection measures, which is unique in the world.” He added that relief “applies to everyone, not just debtors in trouble, as opposed to other examples seen in the world, and leaves HUF 3.6 trillion in liquidity for households and businesses.”

Cecília Müller, chief medical officer, was also on hand and reported that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen to 2,863; the number of deaths stands at 323, while 609 patients have already left the hospital. “It is a great achievement that we managed to avoid an explosion in the number of cases, so we were able to prepare the Hungarian healthcare system,” she said, adding that “we have to be ready to continuously keep infections under control.”

Regarding the new restrictions, Müller said that “citizens from the capital and Pest County can still leave their homes only for exceptional reasons; while people living in the countryside should be aware of social distancing rules.” With regard to the elderly, there is no change in the measure that only people above the age of 65 can do their shopping from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Budapest, Pest County and the countryside, and the Government is asking them to stick to this time slot.

Róbert Kiss, lieutenant colonel of the police, announced that “the second phase of the defense will start on Monday, and the related government decrees have already been published. In the countryside, shops and outdoor baths can open, and the terraces of restaurants and cafes can also open, but only employees can stay in the buildings.”

“Between May 1-3, local governments may set stricter rules by decree; police have initiated preparations for the new measures and will be monitoring compliance with the new rules,” Kiss concluded.