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May 31, 2020

CORONAVIRUS: Here's the latest (May 2020)

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,876. In compulsory home quarantine: 11,540. Recovered: 2,147. Deceased: 526.

 

 

 

08:50 AM - May 31: Number of confirmed cases stands at 3,876

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,876. In compulsory home quarantine: 11,540. Recovered: 2,147. Deceased: 526.

The total number of active COVID-19 cases is 1,203. The results show that 41 percent of those infected, 59 percent of the deceased, and 48 percent of those recovered live in Budapest. There are currently 419 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, 25 of those are on ventilators.

10:50 AM - May 30: Maintain social distancing and wear masks

During today's Operational Group press conference, Colonel Tibor Lakatos, Head of the Operational Group, highlighted that a new government decree has now entered into force, which facilitates crossing the Bulgarian border. “People will no longer encounter restrictions, even if they come into the country via Romania,” he said.

Lakatos added that easing the restrictions are necessary to return to normal everyday life, but it does not mean that the protection measures proposed by the government and recommended by experts should be forgotten. “Keeping to a safe social distance and wearing masks remain important. These steps could prevent a more serious second wave in the fall,” he said.

08:50 AM - May 30: Number of confirmed cases stands at 3,867

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,867. In compulsory home quarantine: 11,408. Recovered: 2,142. Deceased: 524.

The total number of active COVID-19 cases is 1,201. The results show that 41 percent of those infected, 59 percent of the deceased, and 49 percent of those recovered live in Budapest. There are currently 414 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, 22 of those are on ventilators.

12:20 PM - May 29: Government to extend wage subsidy scheme until August 31

During today’s Operational Group press conference, State Secretary Sándor Bodó announced that the government will extend the job protection wage subsidy scheme until August 31.

Bodó noted that 10,500 companies have so far applied for job protection wage support, and the number of affected employees has reached 137,000. What’s more, 750 companies applied for R&D support, which will help 12,000 people working within these companies.

09:15 AM - May 29: CMO and Operational Group will be given strengthened powers

During his regular slot on Kossuth Radio this morning, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Hungary defended itself more successfully than Western European countries, because the government made the right decisions sooner.

The prime minister said the epidemic is not over and, according to experts, is likely to return in the fall for a second wave. He said the Chief Medical Officer will be given strengthened powers and the Operational Group will remain - this is roughly how the new epidemiological preparedness stage can be summarized, he said.

08:40 AM - May 29: Hungary and Slovenia lift joint border restrictions

Hungarian and Slovenian nationals will now be able to cross their common border without restrictions, the Hungarian and Slovenian foreign ministers have announced.

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, met with Anze Logar, his Slovenian counterpart, at the Rédics – Dolga Vas (Hosszúfalu) border crossing for talks on Thursday. Lifting restrictions also includes removing COVID-19 quarantine requirements.

08:15 AM - May 29: New ventilator designed by team at Budapest’s Technical University goes into production

A newly-designed ventilator by a team at Budapest’s Technical University, developed in the space of just two months, is being put into production.

Miklós Kásler, Minister of Human Resources, Sándor Pintér, Minister of the Interior, and László Palkovics, Minister of Innovation and Technology, visited the ventilator’s production hall on Thursday. Palkovics said domestic production of the device was a “milestone”, noting that at the start of the novel coronavirus epidemic, ventilators were being purchased from abroad.

07:30 AM - May 29: Number of confirmed cases stands at 3,841

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,841. In compulsory home quarantine: 10,763. Recovered: 2,024. Deceased: 517.

The total number of active COVID-19 cases is 1,300. The results show that 42 percent of those infected, 59 percent of the deceased, and 48 percent of those recovered live in Budapest. There are currently 384 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, 24 of those are on ventilators.

01:25 PM - May 28: Outdoor sporting and cultural events, restaurants and hotels to reopen across Hungary

At today’s Operational Group press conference, Róbert Kiss, Lieutenant Colonel of the Hungarian Police Force, announced that a new phase of protection measures will enter into force in Budapest tomorrow. “This means, people can consume food and drink inside restaurants and hotels can reopen,” he said.

Outdoor sporting and cultural events can also be held, and outdoor exhibitions in national parks can be visited. “The safety distance must be kept everywhere,” he said. Kiss also drew attention to the fact that it is still forbidden to take part in or organize music or dance events in indoor venues.

12:55 PM - May 28: Law on epidemiological preparedness contains clearly established rules

Gergely Gulyás, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office, has said Hungary has managed to control the spread of the coronavirus, and is one of the few countries where large-scale illnesses did not occur.

Gulyás also said that the now-submitted law on epidemiological preparedness contains clearly established rules for people to follow. He added that there is a possibility that the special legal order [state of emergency] will be lifted, but the country must stay prepared. Because of this, many regulations remain in force, such as the separate purchase time for the elderly and the prohibition of holding mass events, especially in indoor venues.

08:20 AM - May 28: Jewish leaders thank PM Orbán for kosher food aid package

The Hungarian government has sent a kosher food aid package to a Jewish community in Belgrade to help their shortage in supplies during the coronavirus epidemic.

Rabbi Yehoshua Kaminetzky, of Belgrade’s Chabad-Lubavitch, Oberlander Baruch, president of the Budapest Orthodox Rabbinical Council, and György Szabó, a leader of Hungarian Jewish organisation MAZSÖK, thanked Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for the donation in a letter.

08:05 AM - May 28: Budapest restaurants to open indoor areas from tomorrow

Restaurants in Budapest will be allowed to open indoor areas from tomorrow after they were forced to close them due to the novel coronavirus epidemic. Starting on May 29, restaurants, cafes, bakeries and buffets will be allowed to serve food and drinks indoors.

The same rules will apply to catering establishments operated by hotels. Employees will still be expected to wear face masks and the same physical distancing rules will apply as they do outside Budapest.

07:25 AM - May 28: Number of confirmed cases stands at 3,816

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,816. In compulsory home quarantine: 11,525. Recovered: 1,996. Deceased: 509.

The total number of active COVID-19 cases is 1,311. The results show that 42 percent of those infected, 60 percent of the deceased, and 48 percent of those recovered live in Budapest. There are currently 404 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, 24 of those are on ventilators.

01:25 PM - May 27: CMO says there is no child vaccine delay in Hungary

During today’s Operational Group press conference, Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller said that in comparison to the rest of Europe, Hungary’s figure of 39 confirmed coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants is promising. Müller revealed that the number of active cases dropped to 1,432, 41 percent of whom reside in Budapest and the rest in rural Hungary. Currently, out of the 430 patients undergoing hospital treatment 25 people are on ventilators.

Responding to the World Health Organization’s concerns regarding potential delays in infant vaccination due to the coronavirus pandemic, Müller said that there is no such delay in Hungary and all children have been properly vaccinated. She added that there are several research groups in Hungary that are looking for preventive methods to counter the spread of the virus. One of these groups at the National Healthcare Center, led by Tamás Pándics, is working on a method to identify coronavirus spread in the environment.

09:40 AM - May 27: Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic will open their borders for citizens of the neighboring country

The foreign minister has revealed that Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic will open their borders for citizens of the neighboring country.

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said in Cluj (Kolozsvár), Romania, that citizens crossing the borders will not need to be isolated unless they wish to stay in the other country longer than 48 hours.

09:25 AM - May 27: 2021 budget outlined by Finance Minister

The finance minister said the government’s 2021 budget bill targets annual economic growth of 4.8 percent. Presenting the bill to parliament, Mihály Varga said inflation is expected to be around 3 percent, level with the National Bank of Hungary’s mid-term “price stability” target.

Minister Varga said the 2021 budget will serve to protect the economy while catering for a possible recurrence of the coronavirus epidemic. Next year’s budget will focus on supporting families while restarting the economy and helping to create jobs to make up for the ones lost due to the epidemic, he said.

07:35 AM - May 27: Number of confirmed cases stands at 3,793

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,793. In compulsory home quarantine: 11,616. Recovered: 1,856. Deceased: 505.

The total number of active COVID-19 cases is 1,432. The results show that 41 percent of those infected, 60 percent of the deceased, and 49 percent of those recovered live in Budapest. There are currently 430 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, 25 of those are on ventilators.

01:10 PM - May 26: Wage subsidy scheme helps more than 125,000 people so far

During today’s Operational Group press conference, Tamás Schanda, Deputy Minister of Technology and Innovation (ITM), reported that huge interest had been shown in wage subsidies, with some 126,000 people requesting help. "Those whose employer has reduced their working hours can apply for subsidies,” he said, adding that “there is also a huge demand for special R&D wage subsidies, more than 10,000 people have so far requested this type of allowance."

08:45 AM - May 26: Hungary-Serbia border to reopen on Monday

From Monday morning, citizens of Hungary and Serbia will be allowed to travel between the two countries without undergoing a mandatory quarantine upon entry.

Following talks with Jadranka Joksimović, Serbia’s European Integration minister, and István Pásztor, the head of the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians (VMSZ) at the Röszke border, in southern Hungary, Péter Szijjártó said reopening the borders will enable families and communities to reconnect. Economic ties will also gain new momentum, he added.

08:40 AM - May 26: Bill on rescinding the government’s emergency powers submitted to parliament today

Justice Minister Judit Varga said the chief focus of Monday’s cabinet meeting was a bill on rescinding the government’s emergency powers. Minister Varga said the bill will be submitted to parliament today, adding that the opposition had not voted on the relevant law in response to the novel coronavirus epidemic submitted to parliament more than two months ago.

08:30 AM - May 26: 2021 budget includes HUF 3,000 billion for pandemic defense fund

The government’s 2021 budget bill allocates some HUF 3,000 billion (EUR 8.5bn) for a healthcare and pandemic defense fund.

Finance Minister Mihály Varga said in a video posted on Facebook that the 2021 budget bill will be submitted to lawmakers on Tuesday. Next year’s budget will be one for “re-starting the economy,” he said.

08:15 AM - May 26: Hungary discusses easing border restrictions with Austria, Czechia and Slovakia

Peter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said he has discussed easing border restrictions with his Austrian, Czech and Slovak counterparts.

In a post on Facebook, Minister Szijjártó said Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are highly dependent on each another in the region. Economic ties between the four countries are also “highly active”, he said, noting the deep links between their border-region communities.

07:35 AM - May 26: Number of confirmed cases stands at 3,771

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,771. In compulsory home quarantine: 11,611. Recovered: 1,836. Deceased: 499.

The total number of active COVID-19 cases is 1,436. The results show that 41 percent of those infected, 60 percent of the deceased, and 49 percent of those recovered live in Budapest. There are currently 436 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, 27 of those are on ventilators.

02:05 PM - May 25: Moratorium on loan repayments saves Hungarians nearly HUF 3.6 trillion

During this morning's Operational Group press conference, András Tállai, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Finance, said that “the first phase of defense against the coronavirus has come to an end, and Hungary is one of the countries with the most successful defenses.”

Tállai added that the most important part of the economy protection action plan, put into motion by the government to remedy the negative effects of the epidemic, was the moratorium on loan repayments.

The moratorium took effect on 7.7 million loan contracts, the deputy minister continued, saving Hungarians nearly HUF 3.6 trillion. “40 percent of private clients have decided to continue their loan payments, 70 percent of large companies and 40 percent of all small and medium-sized enterprises,” Tállai said.

08:15 AM - May 25: Cultural Council reviews impact of epidemic on Hungary’s cultural institutions

At Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s invitation the National Cultural Council held a session on Saturday at the PM's offices in the Castle District to review the impact of the coronavirus epidemic on Hungary’s cultural institutions.

The Council, headed by Hungarian Academy of Arts chair György Vashegyi and comprising the leaders of 17 institutions of culture, established that Hungary has started the return to normal life, but acknowledged that experts’ warnings that the danger has not passed must be heeded.

08:05 AM - May 25: More protective equipment delivered to Hungary in past four days

The foreign minister has revealed that more protective equipment has arrived in Hungary. In a Facebook post on Sunday, Péter Szijjártó said that 14 aircraft and two lorries arrived in Hungary from China to deliver 501,000 masks, 2,773 patient monitors and 309 ventilators in the past four days.

07:45 AM - May 25: Hungary to run tests on Avigan

The foreign minister has revealed that Hungary has been selected as one of the first countries to receive Avigan for treatment of COVID-19 patients and will run further clinical tests on the drug with the active ingredient favipiravir registered in Japan.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, Péter Szijjártó said a shipment of 12,200 Avigan pills – enough to treat 100 patients – arrived in Hungary on Saturday morning, adding that the medicine had been sent to the research center of the University of Pécs, in southern Hungary. Avigan was registered in Japan as an influenza drug but has been found effective against the novel coronavirus.

07:30 AM - May 25: Number of confirmed cases stands at 3,756

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,756. In compulsory home quarantine: 11,810. Recovered: 1,711. Deceased: 491.

The total number of active COVID-19 cases is 1,554. The results show that 42 percent of those infected, 60 percent of the deceased, and 49 percent of those recovered live in Budapest. 

08:20 AM - May 24: Number of confirmed cases stands at 3,741

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,741. In compulsory home quarantine: 11,934. Recovered: 1,690. Deceased: 486.

The total number of active COVID-19 cases is 3,741. The results show that 43 percent of those infected, 61 percent of the deceased, and 49 percent of those recovered live in Budapest.

11:55 AM - May 23: Favipiravir is now available in Hungary

János Szlávik, Chief Physician at South Pest Central Hospital, announced today that a Japanese product called Favipiravir is now available in Hungary, which is good for treating patients with moderate conditions. “There are also three vaccine trials underway, one of which may prove successful,” he said.

08:25 AM - May 23: 3,713 confirmed cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,713. In compulsory home quarantine: 11,704. Recovered: 1,655. Deceased: 482.

The total number of active COVID-19 cases is 3,713. The results show that 43 percent of those infected, 61 percent of the deceased, and 49 percent of those recovered live in Budapest.

12:20 PM - May 22: Vaccine development is moving along nicely

During today's Operational Group press conference, Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller said the epidemic curve is still pointing downwards. She also reported on the development of a national vaccine factory which is currently underway. The development of a vaccine against the coronavirus has also started and is moving along within the government's research plan.

10:05 AM - May 22: PM Orbán confident economic protection plan will work

During his regular interview slot on Kossuth Radio this morning, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán talked about the economic steps the government is taking following the coronavirus crisis, noting that most of his efforts and time are spent on protecting jobs because people do not need aid, but work. The goal is to create as many jobs as the virus destroys, or even more. There are currently more than one million people in Hungary whose work has already been helped to some extent by the state.

09:20 AM - May 22: FM in talks to reopen Hungary-Slovenia border

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has held talks with his Slovenian counterpart on reopening the border between the two countries. In a Facebook post after telephone talks with Anze Logar, Minister Szijjártó said the Slovenian health authority had issued a recommendation saying that “reopening the border was possible, in view of Hungary’s successful protection efforts.”

08:45 AM - May 22: Schools to organize consultation days from June 2

Schools will keep digital education methods running for the remainder of the term, but will be allowed to organize consultations for individual students or small groups from June 2.

Zoltán Maruzsa, State Secretary for Education, called on teachers to coordinate with parents on organizing consultation days. End-of-term celebrations should also be held in smaller groups. The summer holidays in Hungary are starting on June 15.

07:25 AM - May 22: 3,678 confirmed cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,678. In compulsory home quarantine: 11,688. Recovered: 1,587. Deceased: 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 live in Budapest or Pest County.  There are currently 483 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, 23 of those are on ventilators.

13:15 PM - May 21: All Hungarian-Romanian border crossings to open tomorrow

During today’s Operational Group press conference, Róbert Kiss, Lieutenant Colonel of the Hungarian Police Force, revealed that all Romanian-Hungarian border crossings will open from 6 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Kiss also spoke about the fact that Romanian citizens arriving at or traveling to Liszt Ferenc Airport are exempt from the official home quarantine rules. The condition for the entry of transit passengers is that they submit to a medical examination, they must have a valid flight ticket and are allowed access to the destination country.

12:40 PM - May 21: Government to begin legal process of coming out of state of emergency on Tuesday

Gergely Gulyás, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office, said today that the measures taken to fight the coronavirus have been successful, but the situation is still very fragile, so it is important to follow the rules. “It can be considered a government credit, but quick action would mean nothing if people did not follow the measures,” he added.

“A proposal will be submitted next Tuesday, which begins the process of abolishing the special legal order [for the state of emergency],” the minister said. “However, the necessary measures will stay in force, for example the Operational Group will continue operating,” he added.

08:40 AM - May 21: More ventilators delivered to Hungary

The foreign minister has revealed that 700 ventilators have been delivered to Hungary in the past two days. Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, told MTI that healthcare experts and scientists are debating the probable course of the novel coronavirus epidemic in the future.

Minister Szijjártó said the Hungarian government is therefore preparing for long-term prevention, and continues to procure the equipment necessary for that fight, he said. “We need to have the equipment to protect Hungarians in the long term,” he said.

08:25 AM - May 21: Minister hails “successful” end to the first phase of Hungary’s protective measures

Miklós Kásler, Minister of Human Resources, has praised the “successful” end to the first phase of Hungary’s protective measures against the novel coronavirus epidemic.

The minister said the country’s healthcare system can now “gradually and carefully” return to its pre-epidemic routine. Kásler said Hungary’s healthcare professionals have gained a lot of experience during the epidemic, adding, at the same time, that “we have to reconsider our approach to various diseases, the structure of Hungarian healthcare, as well as the role of national institutes, medical universities and regional health centers”.

07:30 AM - May 21: 3,641 confirmed cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,641. In compulsory home quarantine: 11,103. Recovered: 1,509. Deceased: 473.

The total number of active COVID-19 cases is 1,659. The results show that 45 percent of those infected, 61 percent of the deceased, and 46 percent of those recovered live in Budapest or Pest County.  There are currently 510 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, 27 of those are on ventilators.

12:55 PM - May 20: CMO says Hungary's low numbers puts us in a good spot among European countries

Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller began today’s Operational Group press conference by stating that in the last 24 hours, 42 new cases of coronavirus have been encountered in Hungary, bringing the total number of infected to 3,598. She added that the three people who passed away yesterday all suffered from chronic diseases.

“There continues to be a regional difference in terms of the number of infected people per 100,000 inhabitants,” Müller said, adding that the figure is the highest in Budapest, 97.6, while nationwide there have been 36.8 infections for every 100,000 people. This number, she said, “puts Hungary in a good spot among European countries.” According to the CMO, there are currently 1,674 active cases of coronavirus in Hungary and 45 percent of them are in Budapest.

08:15 AM - May 20: V4 discuss crisis response with Angela Merkel

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and other Visegrad Group leaders joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a video conference summit focusing on the novel coronavirus crisis.

PM Orbán was joined by the Czech Republic’s Andrej Babiš, Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland and Igor Matovič of Slovakia to discuss with Merkel ways to repair the economic damage caused by the epidemic.

07:55 AM - May 20: Finance Minister urges EU to adopt quick, proportionate and fair measures

Finance Minister Mihály Varga has urged the European Union to adopt quick, proportionate and fair measures as part of its management of the bloc’s coronavirus crisis. During a video conference with his EU counterparts, Minister Varga said the EU’s measures must place heavy emphasis on protecting jobs and supporting businesses and families.

07:45 AM - May 20: 3,598 confirmed cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,598. In compulsory home quarantine: 10,931. Recovered: 1,454. Deceased: 470.

The results show that 45 percent of those infected, 61 percent of the deceased, and 46 percent of those recovered live in Budapest or Pest County.

12:44 PM - May 19: Nearly 100,000 jobs saved so far

“We need to pay attention to saving as many jobs as possible and creating as many new jobs as possible,” said Sándor Bodó, State Secretary for Employment Policy, at today’s Operational Group press conference.

In the past two weeks, more than 2,700 companies have applied to the government’s wage subsidy program, most of them from rural areas, saving more than 95,000 jobs in Hungary.

09:30 AM - May 19: Reasonable balance is needed to fully emerge from lockdown

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has underlined the importance of maintaining a “reasonable balance” between safeguarding human life, restarting the economy and “returning to normalcy” in Hungary’s emergence from lockdown.

09:05 AM - May 19: Government could give up emergency powers in June

Justice Minister Judit Varga said the government is considering giving up its emergency powers in June. Minister Varga cited the government’s pledge to terminate the state of emergency raised in connection with the novel coronavirus outbreak once the epidemic has subsided. She added that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán may submit a motion on ending the government’s special powers to parliament before the end of May.

07:10 AM - May 19: 3,556 confirmed cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,556. In compulsory home quarantine: 10,394. Recovered: 1,412. Deceased: 467.

The results show that 45 percent of those infected, 62 percent of the deceased, and 46 percent of those recovered live in Budapest or Pest County.

01:05 PM - May 18: Wearing masks in shops and on public transport is still compulsory

During today's Operational Group press conference, Róbert Kiss, Lieutenant Colonel of the Hungarian Police Force, said wearing masks in shops and on public transport is still compulsory from today.

The 9-12 a.m. shopping time slot for those above 65 will also stay in force. However, public parks and spaces, as well as outdoors playgrounds can be used beginning today.

09:15 AM - May 18: Focus is on gradually restarting hospital services

Miklós Kásler, Minister of Human Resources, has told hospital directors in a teleconference that today would see “a new phase in relaunching hospital services”. The health government’s “focus is on gradually restarting services,” the human resources ministry said in a statement.

08:55 AM - May 18: 100th Wizz Air flight carrying protective gear arrives in Hungary

The foreign minister has confirmed that the 100th Wizz Air flight carrying protective gear from China for the battle against the novel coronavirus epidemic has touched down at Budapest’s Liszt Ferenc International Airport.

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Hungary has so far received over 131 million masks, 1,928,695 protective gowns, 516,280 visors and 3,062 ventilators. From this amount, 3.9 million masks, 5 million gloves and 384 ventilators arrived over the past three days.

08:35 AM - May 18: PM Orbán thanks China for prevention assistance

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has had telephone talks with China’s President Xi Jinping. PM Orbán thanked the Chinese leader for his country’s contribution to Hungarian efforts to rein in the coronavirus epidemic, and discussed future economic cooperation.

07:55 AM - May 18: Restrictions lifted in Budapest

The rules of easing the lockdown that came into effect in the countryside from May 4 will come into effect in the capital today, but social distancing measures will continue to apply.

It will be compulsory to wear a mask in shops and on public transport in Budapest in order to prevent the spread of the infection. Public areas, parks and outdoor playgrounds can be visited from today.

07:00 AM - May 18: 3,535 confirmed coronavirus cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,535. In compulsory home quarantine: 10,388. Recovered: 1,400. Deceased: 462.

08:00 AM - May 17: 3,509 confirmed coronavirus cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,509. In compulsory home quarantine: 10,470. Recovered: 1,396. Deceased: 461.

Yesterday afternoon, Minister Gergely Gulyás has announced the details of an easing of restrictions to take effect in Budapest on Monday. “Beginning on Monday, all shops and businesses may reopen, customers will be allowed to use the terraces and gardens of restaurants and cafés,” Gulyás said. 

Read more here.

05:15 PM - May 16: Easing of restrictions to take effect in Budapest on Monday

Following Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s announcement today of the easing of restrictions in Budapest, Minister Gergely Gulyás outlined the full details of the new rules earlier this afternoon.

“We have consulted with mayors, virologists, doctors; we have made a well-established decision,” Minister Gulyás said, announcing that new, lighter restrictions will take effect in Budapest from Monday.

“Although the movement restrictions will be lifted in Budapest on Monday, keeping a safe, 1.5 meters distance will remain obligatory,” Minister Gulyás said. This decision, he added, has been made due to the fact that Hungarians observed previous regulations, so we can hope that they will continue to do so in the future.

04:25 PM - May 16: PM Orbán says Budapest can now move to second phase of defense

In a special video message posted on Facebook today, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said the government is lifting the curfew restrictions imposed due to the novel coronavirus epidemic in Budapest, with measures in the capital to follow the rest of the country with a two-week delay.

The prime minister said it became clear at expert-level discussions on Saturday that “we have contained the virus in Budapest as well so we can move on – albeit carefully and cautiously – to the second phase of defense here too,” he said.

12:45 PM - May 16: State Secretary says the role of the family has increased during these difficult times

During today’s Operational Group press conference, Katalin Novák, State Secretary for Family and Youth Affairs, highlighted the importance of a family-friendly mindset and family-friendly politics. “The role of the family has increased,” she said. “Above all, we can always count on our family members. We want to show that no Hungarian is alone.”

11:55 AM - May 16: PM Orbán says government expects to be able to give up coronavirus-related special powers at end of May

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said the government expects to be able to give up its coronavirus-related special powers at the end of May. Following talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić in Belgrade, PM Orbán noted that the special powers granted to it by parliament at the outbreak of the epidemic enabled the Hungarian government to make “weighty and difficult” decisions with immediate effect.

08:50 AM - May 16: 3,473 confirmed cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,473. In compulsory home quarantine: 10,742. Recovered: 1,371. Deceased: 448.

01:25 PM - May 15: CMO says it will soon be possible to further expand regular healthcare services

As the epidemic situation improves, Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller said today that it will be soon possible to further expand regular healthcare services. The process of returning to normal healthcare services began on May 4, and occasional screenings will start on May 18. 

10:05 AM - May 15: PM Orbán focuses on rebuilding the economy

In his regular interview slot on Kossuth Radio this morning, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Hungary must be a country that creates as many jobs as the virus destroys, emphasizing that in Hungary, the basis of the economy is work.

The prime minister said there is a state job creation program, one element of which is public employment, where up to 200,000 people can be employed; the military has also started recruiting. In addition, the government has introduced wage subsidies for research and development as well as general wage subsidies, and 5,400 businesses have submitted requests for this so far, with the salaries of 74,000 people being supported.

09:40 AM - May 15: A new wave of migrants pose a health risk

The foreign minister said a new wave of migrants heading towards Europe, presenting health and security risks, is possible due to the pandemic. Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said fourteen European Union foreign ministers held a videoconference at Spain’s initiative to discuss the situation in the Mediterranean.

08:45 AM - May 15: Japan supplies Hungary with medicine to treat COVID-19

The foreign minister has revealed that Japan will provide medicine to treat COVID-19 to 30 countries including Hungary, free of charge. Minister Szijjártó said that Japan would send 12,200 Avigan pills, sufficient to treat 100 patients. He also said Japan was open to future cooperation opportunities with regard to coronavirus research.

07:10 AM - May 15: 3,417 confirmed cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,417. In compulsory home quarantine: 10,954. Recovered: 1,287. Deceased: 442.

The results show that 58 percent of those infected, 79 percent of the deceased, and 60 percent of those recovered live in Budapest or Pest County. The total number of active COVID-19 cases is 1,688. There are currently 614 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, 46 of those are on ventilators.

02:35 PM - May 14: CMO says the epidemic is declining in Hungary

Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller reported today that the number of 39 new confirmed cases in Hungary fits the trend of the last week. ”The number of active infections is declining and has now dropped to 1,775,” she said.

“59 percent of those infected, 79 percent of the dead, and 59 percent of those recovered were from Budapest or Pest County while 658 coronavirus patients are hospitalized and 49 are on ventilators,” Müller said, adding that “there is a significant increase in the number of laboratory tests, which has already reached a total of 123,258.”

Taking into account the new figures, the CMO said “we have now reached a static stage; the epidemic is declining in Hungary.”

01:15 PM - May 14: Social distancing rules remain in place

During today’s Governmental Info press conference, Gergely Gulyás, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office, said that considering the current numbers, the government has decided not to change the rules surrounding social contacts (1.5 meter social distance and wearing masks).

However, Pest County is now considered the countryside in relation to the restrictions and the same rules will be applied there. Regarding Budapest, the government is awaiting the opinions of the district mayors up until 3pm this afternoon, after which the Operative Group will decide tomorrow or on Saturday at the latest on any change to the movement restrictions.

10:20 AM - May 14: Two crossings re-open on Hungary-Austria border

The foreign minister has revealed that an agreement has been reached with Austrian authorities following extended talks to open two crossing for passenger traffic on the Hungary-Austria border. Péter Szijjártó said the newly opened crossings are between Jánossomorja in Hungary and Andau in Austria, and between Alsószölnök in Hungary and Neumarkt in Austria.

09:40 AM - May 14: Head of UNWTO congratulates PM Orbán on managing tourism sector during crisis

The head of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the UN’s tourism agency, has sent a letter to the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán congratulating him on his management of the tourism sector’s crisis caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said they had been closely monitoring “the incredible work of the Hungarian government during this unprecedented crisis”.

07:20 AM - May 14: 3,380 confirmed cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,380. In compulsory home quarantine: 11,084. Recovered: 1,169. Deceased: 436.

The results show that 59 percent of those infected, 79 percent of the deceased, and 59 percent of those recovered live in Budapest or Pest County. The total number of active COVID-19 cases is 1,775. There are currently 658 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, 49 of those are on ventilators. 

02:05 PM - May 13: Government extends wage support scheme

Sándor Bodó said today that the wage support program has been extended and the number of recipients is growing week by week. Bodó confirmed that if part-time employment drops below 50 percent, government support could top HUF 100,000 per month.

09:55 AM - May 13: New patients to be treated in two Budapest hospitals

Newly diagnosed coronavirus patients in a serious condition will be transferred to two specialized hospitals in Budapest, in a return to the procedure applied at the beginning of the epidemic. Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller has instructed the country’s hospitals and the National Ambulance Service accordingly.

In view of the slowly declining number of registered patients and of those in need of hospital treatment, new COVID-19 patients in a serious condition will be transferred to the St. László and Korányi hospitals in Budapest.

08:55 AM - May 13: Favipiravir production could start this autumn

Hungarian researchers have concluded the first phase of developing favipiravir, a medication proven effective against the novel coronavirus in Asia. The innovation and technology ministry confirmed that production of the drug might start as early as this autumn.

08:25 AM - May 13: First Lady thanks nurses for their work

To mark International Nurses Day yesterday, First Lady Anita Herczegh thanked nurses for their work. Herczegh noted that the World Health Organization declared 2020 the year of nurses and midwives long before the coronavirus pandemic. “Thanks and gratitude are especially due today,” she said. She also thanked organizations that have been donating face masks, immunostimulants and disinfectants to hospitals and social institutions.

08:05 AM - May 13: 3,341 confirmed cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,341. In compulsory home quarantine: 11,053. Recovered: 1,102. Deceased: 430.

The results show that 60 percent of those infected, 79 percent of the deceased, and 58 percent of those recovered live in Budapest or Pest County. The total number of active COVID-19 cases is 1,809. There are currently 688 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, 45 of those are on ventilators. 

12:35 PM - May 12: Further easement of movement restrictions will be discussed on Wednesday

During today's Operational Group press conference, Róbert Kiss, Lieutenant Colonel of the Hungarian Police Force, said that the easement of movement restrictions will be discussed at Wednesday's government meeting, and Minister Gergely Gulyás will provide information on the decisions on Thursday.

09:20 AM - May 12: Life returns to the countryside as restrictions ease

Life outside Budapest slowly returned to “normal” over the weekend as the easing of coronavirus-related restrictions drew many to tourist spots and restaurant terraces as much as physical distancing rules allowed.

08:35 AM - May 12: Hévíz thermal bath re-opens

Hévíz thermal bath re-opened at the weekend, attracting hundreds of guests. According to local government officials, most hotels in the spa town will re-open between mid-May and the second week of June, strictly keeping to coronavirus-related rules and regulations.

07:05 AM - May 12: 3,313 confirmed cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,313. In compulsory home quarantine: 11,016. Recovered: 1,007. Deceased: 425.

The results show that 60 percent of those infected, 79 percent of the deceased, and 56 percent of those recovered live in Budapest or Pest County. The total number of active COVID-19 cases is 1,881.

03:15 PM - May 11: Numbers place Hungary in bottom third of Europe

Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller said today that while there was a period when the number of coronavirus infections grew rapidly, this period was short due to effective measures taken against the spread of the disease. “The number of those who succumbed to the virus is, of course, a reason for sorrow. However, the figures place Hungary in the bottom third of Europe,” Müller said.

10:35 AM - May 11: 62,000 jobs saved by company investments

To help mitigate the negative economic impacts of the novel coronavirus epidemic, some 338 companies have so far indicated their plans to the government to carry out investments worth HUF 162 billion (EUR 460m).

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said this was projected to save 62,000 jobs. He said the ministry has launched a program jointly with the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency to support investments that help preserve jobs.

09:25 AM - May 11: Minister signs cooperation agreement on vaccine production with the University of Debrecen

Miklós Kásler, Minister of Human Resources, said Hungary’s goal is to become self-sufficient in vaccine production, similarly to other areas.

08:10 AM - May 11: PM Orbán thanks ambulance workers for their service

In a video posted on Facebook to mark Ambulance Day, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán expressed his gratitude to ambulance workers for their service.

The prime minister paid a visit to Budapest’s 8th district ambulance station where he said it was a “major accomplishment” for a country with a population of 10 million to operate 30,000 hospital beds and 8,000 ventilators while also having doctors, nurses and paramedics available everywhere.

The prime minister added that all of Hungary was proud of ambulance workers for “putting themselves out there”.

07:05 AM - May 11: 3,284 confirmed cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,284. In compulsory home quarantine: 10,955. Recovered: 958. Deceased: 421.

The results show that 61 percent of those infected, 79 percent of the deceased, and 56 percent of those recovered live in Budapest or Pest County. The total number of active COVID-19 cases is 1,905.

08:00 AM - May 10: 3,263 confirmed cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,263. In compulsory home quarantine: 10,356. Recovered: 933. Deceased: 413.

The results show that 62 percent of those infected, 79 percent of the deceased, and 54 percent of those recovered live in Budapest or Pest County. The total number of active COVID-19 cases is 1,917.

12:50 PM - May 9: Expert says there are still unanswered questions surrounding the virus

János Szlávik, Chief Infectologist at Szent László Hospital, reported today that there is still a lot we do not know about the coronavirus. For example, “we still don’t know for sure where it comes from or how it passes to humans,” he said. “We don't even know exactly how the virus spreads from person to person. However, it is certain that it occurs in more and more body humors.”

The Chief Infectologist also pointed out that the risk of infection is at its greatest for 5-6 days after the onset of symptoms. “The biggest problem now is that there’s no vaccine, and we don’t know when there will be […], it’s possible that it will only be available next spring,” he said. “However, fortunately, more and more people are leaving the hospital in Hungary after recovering,” he concluded.

12:35 PM - May 9: There has been a big jump in the number of tests taken in Hungary

Kristóf Gál, spokesperson for the Hungarian National Police Headquarters (ORFK), reported today that there are currently 3,213 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hungary, but the number of active cases has been declining for five days in a row. In more positive news, 409 patients have so far recovered from the virus.

Gál added that there has been a big jump in the number of tests taken since a comprehensive study was launched by three Hungarian medical universities to obtain information on the extent of the country's infection. Almost 18,000 more tests will be undertaken in the next two weeks.

07:50 AM - May 9: 3,213 confirmed cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,213. In compulsory home quarantine: 10,927. Recovered: 904. Deceased: 405.

The results show that 62 percent of those infected, 79 percent of the deceased, and 54 percent of those recovered live in Budapest or Pest County. The total number of active COVID-19 cases is 1,904.

12:30 PM - May 8: The number of newly confirmed infections is declining

During today's Operational Group press conference, Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller reported a steady increase in the number of people recovered. She said that more tests are being carried out and nearly 100,000 samples have so far been taken.

For the fourth day in a row, the number of newly confirmed infections is declining, she said. The effects must be monitored for at least two weeks in rural areas where the defense system changed on May 4.

11:20 AM - May 8: PM Orbán says the state is loyal to the people

“We are going through a difficult period,” the prime minister said this morning. “The reason behind this is job losses. We must create as many jobs as the virus destroys,” he said.

10:25 AM - May 8: More Hungarians repatriated

The foreign minister has revealed that a plane landed in Budapest on Thursday with 120 Hungarians aboard returning mostly from North America.

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the government has so far helped 9,529 Hungarian nationals return from 116 countries across the world, in the “greatest rescue operation in Hungary’s history” launched three months ago. He said arrangements are being made to repatriate a further 624 Hungarians.

08:40 AM - May 8: Online shopping numbers surge

Economic research company GKI Digital has revealed that about 50,000 Hungarians became active online shoppers between the middle of March and the end of April, when lockdown measures were introduced to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

07:20 AM - May 8: 3,178 confirmed cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,178. In compulsory home quarantine: 11,036. Recovered: 865. Deceased: 392.

The results show that 62 percent of those infected, 79 percent of the deceased, and 54 percent of those recovered live in Budapest or Pest County. There are currently 1,132 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, 74 of those are on ventilators. The total number of active Covid-19 cases stands at 1,921.

01:35 PM - May 7: CMO reveals a decline in new COVID-19 cases

During today’s Operational Group press conference, Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller revealed a decline in new COVID-19 cases and a thorough inspection has been ordered in baths and spas.

“Only 39 new cases have been registered in the last 24 hours, the number of confirmed cases has significantly reduced over several days; and previous model calculations seem to be confirmed,” she said.

12:55 PM - May 7: The Hungarian government will protect the people at all costs

During today’s Government Info press conference, Gergely Guylás, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office, clarified the new movement restrictions and reported on the latest economic updates.

Guylás said today that the infection has slowed and the number of new confirmed cases is declining, but regional differences are still evident. “Restarting life can only take place on a strict schedule,” he said.

10:45 AM - May 7: MEP says European Parliament will discredit themselves by holding debate on Hungarian law

Fidesz MEP Tamás Deutsch has said European Parliament is about to discredit itself by holding a debate next week on Hungary’s coronavirus law, insisting that the debate would be about something that has already been factually refuted.

He noted that Věra Jourová, the EC vice president for values and transparency, has said that the Commission had assessed the Hungarian legislation on the state of emergency and found nothing objectionable from the point of view of EU law.

08:35 AM - May 7: Government earmark HUF 420 billion for economy protection scheme

The Hungarian government has earmarked over HUF 420 billion (EUR 1.2bn) in development funding for its economy protection scheme aimed at offsetting the economic fallout of the novel coronavirus epidemic.

07:40 AM - May 7: More protective gear arrives in Hungary from China

The foreign minister has revealed that over the past two days, 595 ventilators, 4.2 million face masks and 2.9 million pairs of surgical gloves arrived in Hungary from China.

06:50 AM - May 7: 3,150 confirmed cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,150. In compulsory home quarantine: 10,956. Recovered: 801. Deceased: 383.

The results show that 63 percent of those infected, 79 percent of the deceased, and 52 percent of those recovered live in Budapest or Pest County. There are currently 968 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, 50 of those are on ventilators. The total number of active Covid-19 cases is 1,966.

03:10 PM - May 6: Strict restrictions need to be maintained in Budapest

Speaking at today’s Operational Group press conference, Róbert Kiss, Lieutenant Colonel of the Hungarian Police Force, confirmed that nine out of 10 coronavirus-related fatalities during the last 24 hours have occurred in Budapest and the surrounding area. Kiss said that they are monitoring the new measures, introduced on Monday, and found that strict restrictions still need to be maintained in the capital.

09:45 AM - May 6: Hungary “guarantees” that everyone will have “a decent job to support their family” once pandemic is over

State Secretary Katalin Novák said the Hungarian government “guarantees” that everyone will have “a decent job to support their family” once the pandemic is over. She added that the government was working to create as many new jobs “as the virus destroys”.

08:30 AM - May 6: European Aquatics Championships rescheduled for May 10 - 23 next year

The European Aquatics Championships, originally scheduled to be held in Budapest this month, will be organized between May 10 and 23 next year in view of the novel coronavirus epidemic. The European swimming league LEN confirmed the new dates yesterday after announcing last week that the event had been postponed to 2021 because of the epidemic.

07:10 AM - May 6: 3,111 confirmed cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,111. In compulsory home quarantine: 10,628. Recovered: 759. Deceased: 373.

The results show that 63 percent of those infected, 79 percent of the deceased, and 51 percent of those recovered live in Budapest or Pest County. There are currently 964 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, 50 of those are on ventilators. The number of deaths in the Pesti út nursing home increased to 40; 296 inhabitants, and 26 workers are infected.

01:55 PM - May 5: Hungary moves to second phase of easing out of restrictive measures

During today’s Operational Group press conference, Róbert Kiss, Lieutenant Colonel of the Hungarian Police Force, reminded those present that the second phase of the defense against the coronavirus has started in Hungary. This means that daily life and the economy can slowly restart in the countryside, although movement restrictions remain in force in Budapest and Pest County.

With the new regulations, police are focusing on social distancing and the wearing of masks in shops and on transport (e.g., buses, taxis) in rural cities. Like Western European countries, “a regulation creating the possibility for electronic monitoring of those in compulsory home quarantine – currently 10,547 people – has been announced in the Hungarian Gazette,” Kiss added.

10:05 AM - May 5: Patients can again make appointments with their GPs, dentists and other doctors

Miklós Kásler, the human resources minister, has announced that patients can again make appointments with their GPs, dentists and other doctors. Some transplant operations and one-day surgeries will also be resumed.

09:20 AM - May 5: Hungary receives 17.5 million face masks with more to come

The foreign minister has revealed that Hungary took delivery of 17.5 million face masks last week and will continue to receive protective equipment against the coronavirus this week.

08:25 AM - May 5: Church services resume in most parts of Hungary

Most Hungarian dioceses outside of Budapest are resuming church services with precautions in place, in line with the official easing of restrictions in provincial areas.

07:20 AM - May 5: 3,065 confirmed cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 3,065. In compulsory home quarantine: 10,547. Recovered: 709. Deceased: 363.

12:10 PM - May 4: New data records separate Budapest and Pest County stats from rest of country

During today's Operational Group press conference, Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller said Hungary has now entered a new phase in the defense against the coronavirus. For this reason, Müller added, the presentation of data on the official government information page koronavirus.gov.hu will take a different format, separating data for Budapest and Pest County from the rest of the country.

10:15 AM - May 4: New phase of protective measures against the novel coronavirus begins today

Curfew measures and shop restrictions will remain in place in Budapest and in Pest County but will be eased in the rest of the country, where it will be possible to open and visit all shops, outdoor baths, museums and zoos.

Passengers arriving at Budapest’s Liszt Ferenc International Airport, which saw the relaunch of some flights, will undergo a compulsory medical test upon arrival. Depending on the test’s result, they may be taken to hospital quarantine or ordered to stay in home quarantine for 14 days.

09:30 AM - May 4: The first coronavirus restrictions are being lifted in Hungary

On Friday, the first flights since the restrictions were introduced took off from Budapest’s Liszt Ferenc International Airport, with passengers complying with precautionary measures. The first take-off was a Wizz Air service to Berlin at 6:15pm.

A government decree published in Magyar Közlöny states that businesspeople from six countries can enter Hungary from today. Citizens of the Czech Republic, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Germany, Austria and Slovakia may freely enter Hungary from these respective territories for business purposes.

08:25 AM - May 4: Justice Minister says Hungary deserves an apology over smear campaign

Justice Minister Judit Varga has said people who “coordinated the international smear campaign” against Hungary over its coronavirus measures should now “apologize to the Hungarian people”. Minister Varga highlighted that the European Commission had confirmed the measures were consistent with EU law.

07:30 AM - May 4: 3,035 confirmed cases in Hungary

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary&