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Apr 08, 2020

CORONAVIRUS: Here's the latest

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 895. In compulsory home quarantine: 15,481. Recovered: 94. Deceased: 58.

10:05 AM - April 8: Budapest mayor invited to today's government meeting

Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony and Károly Szita, the mayor of the city of Kaposvár and head of the association of cities with county rights, have been invited to Wednesday’s government meeting to discuss the response to the novel coronavirus epidemic.

09:40 AM - April 8:  V4 have done well in response to COVID-19 crisis

The foreign minister has said the Visegrad Group “have done particularly well” in international comparison in responding to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

09:05 AM - April 8:  More medical supplies arrive in Hungary

The foreign minister has revealed that Hungary has now received nearly 31 million masks, 133,000 testing kits and 152 ventilators from China, with a further 8 million more masks of the 116 million Hungary has ordered set to arrive this week.

08:35 AM - April 8: Hungary operates largest ever repatriation effort

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has revealed that more Hungarians were being repatriated than at any other point in the country’s history. By Tuesday morning, the foreign ministry has aided the return of 7,995 Hungarian citizens from 166 countries and is currently organizing the return of 928 more people.

06:55 AM - April 8: Number of confirmed cases rises to 895

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 895. In compulsory home quarantine: 15,481. Recovered: 94. Deceased: 58.

04:05 PM - April 7: NBH Governor announces new measures to protect the economy

György Matolcsy, Governor of the National Bank of Hungary (NBH), today announced new monetary measures focused on supporting the protection of the economy.

“We have had great success over the last seven years, but this has not absolved us of the danger from a new attack,” György Matolcsy said during an NBH press conference. “We are in the situation where our successful economic results are in danger, the virus is attacking Hungary, the government, the functioning of the state, and families.”

01:40 PM - April 7: Operational Group says if we’re not careful, Budapest could become a focal point of the epidemic

At this morning’s coronavirus press conference, Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller said that without the restrictions on movement, Budapest could become a focal point of the epidemic in Hungary.

Müller revealed today that in the last 24 hours, the number of deaths increased by nine which is significant. The death toll now stands at 47. “To prevent this trend from intensifying, a number of measures are needed and those measures must be followed,” she said.

01:10 PM - April 7: More details of the five-point economy protection plan revealed

László Palkovics, Minister of Innovation and Technology, has announced the details of the government’s new five-point plan to protect the Hungarian economy during the coronavirus crisis.

12:30 PM - April 7: FM says national responses to epidemic are the most effective

The foreign minister said national responses to the novel coronavirus epidemic are the most effective, and coordination by Brussels has been pushed into the background.

In a speech in parliament this morning, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, briefed lawmakers about recent NATO and EU foreign ministerial meetings, saying that decisions were being made on a national basis with national specifics and interests in mind.

09:55 AM - April 7: Gulyás says cooperation is needed to fight the coronavirus

Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, has said further protective measures may be necessary in the coming months, and called on people and politicians to cooperate fully in fighting the novel coronavirus epidemic.

08:45 AM - April 7: Fudan University donates medical equipment to Hungary

Shanghai’s Fudan University has sent 56,000 face masks, 300 items of protective clothing and additional donations to Hungary to aid its response to the novel coronavirus.

08:10 AM - April 7: Hungarian scientists isolate more strains of the coronavirus

More strains of coronavirus have been isolated at the national security lab of Hungary’s National Center for Public Health (NNK). Virologist Zoltán Kis, the head of the center’s laboratory, said that based on the results, it seems that the pathogen may have reached Hungary from several different places.

07:05 AM - April 7: Number of confirmed cases rises to 817

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 817. In compulsory home quarantine: 14,997. Recovered: 71. Deceased: 47.

01:50 PM - April 6: People must observe restrictions on movement even in hot weather

The Operational Group today warned Budapest residents to observe restrictions on leaving their homes in order to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

Róbert Kiss, Lieutenant Colonel of the Hungarian Police, said that “with the advent of warm weather more and more residents tend to violate the rules”. He added that on Sunday alone the police issued 574 warnings, imposed 24 fines and launched 16 legal proceedings.

01:35 PM - April 6: Hungary donates medical equipment to North Macedonia

The Hungarian government has donated 100,000 face masks and 5,000 pieces of protective clothing to North Macedonia to help that country fight against the novel coronavirus epidemic.

01:05 PM - April 6: PM Orbán announces five new economy protection programs

In a brief video statement on public television this morning, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced the launch of five new programs, focused on protecting Hungary’s economy. “We will create as many jobs as the epidemic destroys,” he said.

10:40 AM - April 6: PM Orbán announces that public parking in Hungary will be free from today

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced on Sunday that public parking in Hungary will be free starting on Monday.

10:15 AM - April 6: FM blasts lies about Hungary's response to COVID-19 crisis

The foreign minister has lambasted what he called “lies” by certain European Union politicians about Hungary’s new law which enhances government powers to tackle the novel coronavirus epidemic.

In a post on his Facebook page, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said EU foreign ministers had again discussed the coronavirus crisis on Friday. “There may only be 27 of us left but we could have easily added to the virtual table a 28th seat: for hypocrisy,” the minister wrote.

09:20 AM - April 6: Chief Medical Officer says people must take restrictions on movement seriously

Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller said Budapest is at “serious risk” of seeing an “explosion” of coronavirus cases, with most of Hungary’s confirmed cases located in the capital and Pest county.

Müller added that 62 percent of the country’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases have been recorded in Budapest and Pest county, therefore asking the public for strict compliance with curfew and social distancing restrictions.

08:40 AM - April 6: More medical equipment arrived in Budapest over the weekend

Hungary received some 4 million face masks, more than 400,000 protective suits, 100,000 protective goggles, 30,000 pairs of gloves and more than 6,000 protective visors in consignments flown to Budapest from China on Saturday.

08:20 AM - April 6: More details emerge on epidemic response fund

The Hungarian government is setting up a HUF 663 billion (EUR 1.8bn) fund to combat the novel coronavirus epidemic and a HUF 1,345 billion fund aimed at protecting and restarting the economy.

07:05 AM - April 6: Number of confirmed cases rises to 744

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 744. In compulsory home quarantine: 14,325. Recovered: 67. Deceased: 38.

07:55 AM - April 5: Two elderly patients pass away as the number of confirmed coronavirus infections rises to 733

Additional Hungarians have been confirmed to be carrying the COVID-19 virus, raising the number of cases to 733. Both patients who passed away were over 80. Meanwhile, the number of recovered cases now stands at 66.

02:10 PM - April 4: PM Orbán said his government will create as many jobs as are lost in the coronavirus crisis

In a letter to Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said his government will create as many jobs as are lost in the coronavirus crisis.

01:40 PM - April 4: Funds made available to fight the effects of the coronavirus

During a Government Info press conference held this morning, Gergely Gulyás, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office, revealed that the budget provides unlimited coverage for defense against the coronavirus and all financial resources are available.

12:30 PM - April 4: The coronavirus epidemic can be kept under control

During this morning’s Operational Group press conference, Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller underlined that although appropriate measures have so far been taken by the authorities to fight the coronavirus, the public must follow the government’s rules and regulations to avoid mass disease.

“The coronavirus appeared in Hungary exactly one month ago,” Müller recalled. “Appropriate measures were taken at the right time, and, as a result, no explosion in the number of infections was seen. The epidemic can be kept under control,” she added.

07:28 AM - April 4: Number of confirmed cases rises to 678

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 678. In compulsory home quarantine: 11,399. Recovered: 58. Deceased: 32.
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13:55 PM - April 3: PM Orbán hits back at statement signed by 13 EU member states criticizing Hungary's rule of law

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has hit back at a statement signed by 13 EU member states accusing Hungary of violating the rule of law with its coronavirus state of emergency measures.

Read more here.

12:40 PM - April 3: Chief Medical Officer says patients can be found in all counties across the country

Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller said today that densely populated areas have a higher infection rate, but patients can be found in all counties across the country.

10:05 AM - April 3: PM Orbán: Healthcare workers will receive a bonus for fighting on the COVID-19 frontline

During his regular interview slot on Kossuth Radio this morning, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán discussed the possible extension of movement restrictions, preparations for large-scale infection, and a new economic recovery plan. He also thanked all those currently fighting on the frontline, announcing that healthcare workers will receive a bonus of HUF 500,000.

09:40 AM - April 3: Hungary proposes simpler EU rules on state investment grants

The foreign minister has said that Hungary is proposing that the European Union simplify procedures when it comes to state investment subsidies, in order to boost the effectiveness of economic measures in connection with the coronavirus.

09:25 AM - April 3: 240 Hungarians stranded in the US and Canada are flown home

240 Hungarians stranded in the US and Canada due to the coronavirus pandemic were flown home yesterday. The planes arriving from Chicago, New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Toronto also brought 28 nationals of neighboring countries: 17 Slovaks, 10 Slovenians and a Croatian.

09:10 AM - April 3: Hungary supports intensifying NATO’s anti-terrorism efforts

The foreign minister has said that under the extraordinary circumstances created by the novel coronavirus pandemic, it is especially important to intensify NATO’s anti-terrorism efforts.

08:50 AM - April 3: PM Orbán meets with leading researchers to discuss virus

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said that in the absence of a vaccine, Hungary will need all medicines possible to ease the symptoms of COVID-19. The prime minister said several drugs are currently being tested or are ready for production in Hungary, “and the aim is to stockpile enough of them,” he added.

08:10 AM - April 3: State Secretary lambasts what he calls a "witch hunt and coordinated smear campaign" against Hungary

Zoltán Kovács, State Secretary for International Communication and Relations, has lambasted what he called a "witch hunt and coordinated smear campaign" against Hungary.

In a video message posted on his Facebook page referring to criticism of a new open-ended law that allows rule by decree under the state of emergency, Kovács said that whenever Hungary had chosen “a path at odds from that of the EU” over the past ten years, and tailored its laws to its own needs, “its domestic and international critics were always quick to react”.

07:05 AM - April 3: Number of confirmed cases rises to 623

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 623. In compulsory home quarantine: 10,668. Recovered: 43. Deceased: 26.

12:45 PM - April 2: People should do all they can to help prevent the spread of infection

At today’s Operational Group press conference, Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller said the number of confirmed coronavirus cases is continuously increasing, therefore people should do everything they can to help prevent further infections.

08:50 AM - April 2: Work proof needed to cross Hungarian-Austrian border and Balassagyarmat crossing

All border crossings on the Hungarian-Austrian border and the Balassagyarmat crossing between Slovakia and Hungary have been re-opened to commuters with jobs on either side of the border.

08:10 AM - April 2: Epidemic response law ends when state of emergency ends

The justice minister has stressed that Hungary’s new law which enhances government powers to tackle the coronavirus epidemic will be in effect until the end of the state of emergency.

07:30 AM - April 2: Number of confirmed cases rises to 585

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 585. In quarantine: 59. Recovered: 42. Deceased: 21.

05:20 PM - April 1: Number of coronavirus cases in Hungary shows gradual growth

At the Operational Group’s coronavirus press conference earlier today, officials discussed new supplies of protective gear, the efficiency of the imposed restrictions and the general coronavirus trend in Hungary.

“We are preparing for the period of large-scale infections,” Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller said earlier today. “Even though the number of coronavirus cases is constantly on the rise, it’s good news that in Hungary – unlike in other countries in the region – the growth is still gradual, not exponential,” she added.

03:45 PM - April 1: World-class Hungarian swimmers infected with the coronavirus

Sixteen swimmers are thought to have been infected with the coronavirus, and there are many who have had a second test with inconclusive results, so a third is needed.

03:10 PM - April 1: Six planes arrive in Budapest today bringing protective medical equipment

Six planes will be arriving in Budapest today, bringing 12 million masks, 30,000 overalls and 200,000 face protectors and other medical supplies.

09:10 AM - April 1: New system for recording deaths has been introduced on the official koronavirus.gov.hu website

A new system has been introduced on the official koronavirus.gov.hu website. More detailed information will be provided from now on, which will include the age, gender and pre-existing conditions of the deceased.

08:45 AM - April 1: Hungary's food supplies are secure

The government has announced that food supplies are secure in Hungary and will remain so in the coming months despite the novel coronavirus epidemic. All efforts are being made to maintain undisturbed supplies and strict action will be taken against those that overcharge for food products.

08:05 AM - April 1: Medical equipment delivered to 82 hospitals across Hungary

Face masks and other medical protective gear recently received from China has been distributed among 82 designated hospitals across Hungary. The supplies will primarily be given to hospital staff and are sufficient to ensure full protection for both staff and patients.

07:48 AM - April 1: Hungary's emergency measures are “focused exclusively on the fight against the coronavirus epidemic”

Zoltán Kovács, State Secretary for International Communication and Relations, said the Hungarian government's emergency measures taken against the coronavirus epidemic are in compliance with the country's constitution and European Union treaties.

06:55 AM - April 1: Number of confirmed cases rises to 525

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 525. In quarantine: 61. Recovered: 40. Deceased: 20.

04:25 PM - March 31: Army officers begin their command of 51 hospitals 

The defense minister has revealed that army officers have started their command of 51 hospitals out of 108 in Hungary.

01:05 PM - March 31: Chief Medical Officer reveals change in the way data is presented

Cecília Müller said a new system will be introduced on the official koronavirus.gov.hu website. “More detailed information will be provided from now on, which will include the age, gender and already existing illnesses of the deceased," she said.

09:35 AM - March 31: FM says government will not leave anyone in Hungary without assistance

The foreign minister said the Hungarian government will not leave anyone in Hungary without assistance, adding that “we will bring Hungarians stranded abroad back home and we will restart the economy”.

09:15 AM - March 31: 502 Hungarians return home from Austria’s Tyrol region

The foreign minister said 502 Hungarians returned home late on Monday in four buses and 150 cars from quarantined localities in Austria’s Tyrol region.

08:55 AM - March 31: Number of confirmed cases rises to 492

The number of confirmed people infected with the coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 492. In quarantine: 61. Recovered: 37. Deceased: 16.

08:50 AM - March 31: PM says budget must be radically restructured in order to manage the crisis

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said this year’s budget must be radically restructured in order to manage the crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak and to revitalize the economy.

08:30 AM - March 31: Government has spent HUF 225 billion (EUR 630.3m) on virus response

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has announced that the government has so far spent HUF 225 billion (EUR 630.3m) on buying protective equipment, building a container hospital and making other preparations in connection with the coronavirus epidemic.

07:15 AM - March 31: President Áder signs coronavirus law

President János Áder has signed the law that grants the government enhanced powers to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

05:30 PM - March 30: Full details published on the passed law on the coronavirus containment effort

Parliament has today passed the law on the coronavirus containment effort. During the state of emergency, the government is authorised to adopt extraordinary measures in departure from the provisions of law in the interest of people’s health, legal security and the stability of the economy.

Read the full details here.

04:05 PM - March 30: State of emergency extended following today's vote

Lawmakers have today passed a bill aimed at extending a state of emergency and granting the government special powers to take extraordinary measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The bill passed with 137 votes in favor and 53 against in a fast-tracked procedure. Submitted by the justice minister, the bill passed with the required two-thirds of votes.

03:10 PM - March 30: Restrictions on movement are proving effective

Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller said during today’s Operational Group press conference that due to coronavirus patients being evenly spread out across the country, we can safely say that “the restrictions on movement are proving effective”.

09:50 AM - March 30: Hungary is prepared to join the European Commission’s RescEU program

The Catastrophe Protection Directorate of the Interior Ministry announced on Sunday that Hungary is prepared to join the European Commission’s RescEU program, an element of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism which shores up emergency response capabilities.

In an effort to support the fight against the coronavirus, the EC has decided to establish a strategic stockpile of medical equipment. Member states that choose to store the RescEU stockpile may ask for support from the EC.

09:35 AM - March 30: State of emergency bill vote to take place today

Lawmakers will today vote on a bill that would extend a state of emergency and give the government special powers to take extraordinary measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

09:25 AM - March 30: Hungarian government to send two charter flights to bring back Hungarian nationals stranded in the US and Canada

The Hungarian government will next week send two charter flights to bring back Hungarian nationals stranded in the US and Canada. The minister added that those who wish to return aboard the flights next week should register at Hungary’s representations.

09:05 AM - March 30: Healthcare workers are getting a free pass for all long-distance public transport services in Hungary

State Secretary Tamás Schanda said healthcare workers may travel free of charge on the passenger services of railway companies MAV and GYSEV, and of Volánbusz and other long-distance bus companies until the state of emergency is lifted.

Budapest public transport company BKK also said healthcare workers may ride for free on local public transport in the capital.

08:45 AM - March 30: More people are expected to become infected and many new cases will be diagnosed

Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller said more and more people are expected to become infected with the new coronavirus in Hungary, and many new cases will be diagnosed.

During an online Operational Group press conference, Müller said more laboratory tests are being conducted, although still only in the contact-tracing phase. She added that seven laboratories are working around the clock to process the tests. So far, 12,148 have been completed.

08:10 AM - March 30: MEPs urge EC to come up with proposals aimed at helping countries deal with the ramifications of the coronavirus

MEPs from Hungary’s ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrats coalition have urged the European Commission to come up with proposals aimed at helping countries deal with the social and economic ramifications of the coronavirus.

06:20 AM - March 30: Number of confirmed cases rises to 447

The confirmed number of patients infected with the coronavirus has increased to 447 while the number of deaths has risen to 15.

08:10 AM - March 29: Number of confirmed cases rises to 408

As of this morning, 65 additional Hungarians have been diagnosed with COVID-19, raising the number of confirmed cases in Hungary to 408. Meanwhile, two elderly patients have passed away from the disease.  

08:50 AM - March 28: New measures to protect the elderly come into force today

From today, a person aged over 65 can only go to the grocery store, drugstore, market or pharmacy between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Everyone else can shop at other times. 

08:25 AM - March 28: Restrictions on movement now in force

Restrictions on movement are now in force across the whole territory of Hungary up until April 11. During this period, people will only be allowed to leave their homes for good reason.

07:10 AM - March 28: Number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen to 343

More Hungarian citizens have been diagnosed with the coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the confirmed number of people infected in Hungary to 343. Another elderly man, already suffering from chronic illness, has died from the coronavirus.

Our most sincere condolences to the families of the deceased.

04:45 PM - March 27: Justice Minister responds to false claims of a power grab in Hungary 

In a commentary piece forPolitico, Justice Minister Judit Varga has responded to false claims of a power grab in Hungary, which are spreading as quickly as the coronavirus itself.

Minister Varga said that like many other European Union countries, Hungary acted swiftly and decisively to contain the epidemic sweeping across Europe. The government declared a state of emergency and proposed a bill — which will go in front of parliament on Monday — to empower the government to pass decrees to protect its citizens.

12:05 PM - March 27: Decree on restrictions on movement released

The decree on restrictions on movement announced by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Friday morning has been published in Magyar Közlöny [Hungarian Gazette].

Read more here.

11:40 AM - March 27: Universities to remain closed despite state of emergency expiry date

The Ministry for Innovation and Technology has called on the heads of higher education institutions to maintain measures aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus epidemic and protecting people’s health within the framework of a rectoral decree, despite the expiry of the previously ordered state of emergency.

09:35 AM - March 27: PM Orbán announces restriction on movement in Hungary between March 28 and April 11  

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has announced restriction on movement in Hungary. People are only allowed to leave their homes to go to work or to run essential errands.

Read more here.

08:55 AM - March 27: Budget in place to help those affected by the coronavirus

Gergely Gulyás, Head of the Prime Minister’s Office, said measures to contain the coronavirus epidemic will cost “several hundred billion forints”, but those resources are available from central coffers.

08:25 AM - March 27: NBH says Hungary will maintain growth edge over eurozone despite coronavirus pandemic

The National Bank of Hungary (NBH) projects the Hungarian economy will expand more slowly this year because of measures to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, but it will maintain its growth advantage over countries in the euro zone.

07:55 AM - March 27: More than two-thirds of Hungarians support extending the state of emergency  

A Századvég Foundation survey has found that more than two-thirds of Hungarians support the government bill submitted to parliament on coronavirus protection and extending the state of emergency.

07:30 AM - March 27: BREAKING 

PM Orbán: Goverment to introduce restrictions on movement covering the whole country between March 28 and April 11. More details soon.

07:05 AM - March 27: Number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen to 300

More Hungarian citizens have been diagnosed with the coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the confirmed number of people infected in Hungary to 300.

12:45 PM - March 26: People who feel sick must stay at home

“There are no new deaths in Hungary, and people who feel sick must stay at home,” said Cecília Müller at today’s Operational Group press conference. She added that more and more people are appearing at hospitals believing they are sick, but stressed that they must stay at home. “These people should stay at home and call their GP on phone,” she said.

10:25 AM - March 26: MÁV extends refunding of international rail tickets

In view of the current epidemiological situation, MÁV-Start is extending its deadline for refunding international rail tickets from April 11 until April 30, irrespective of the country of destination.

09:20 AM - March 26: PM Orbán asks Secretary-General of the COE not to hinder Hungary’s efforts to contain the coronavirus epidemic

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has asked Marija Pejcinovic Buric, Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, not to hinder Hungary’s efforts to contain the novel coronavirus epidemic. “If you are unable to help us in the current crisis, I ask you to at least refrain from hindering our efforts,” PM Orbán said.

08:45 AM - March 26: Government earmarks HUF 15 billion for the purchase of additional medical equipment

The funds will be used by the State Healthcare Supply Center (ÁEEK) for the purchase and distribution of stocks under the supervision of the operative board in charge of coordinating measures in connection with the coronavirus.

08:05 AM - March 26: Army now deployed to 84 strategic companies in Hungary

The defense ministry has confirmed that army teams are being deployed to help 84 strategic companies in connection with the novel coronavirus.

07:20 AM - March 26: Hungary and Romania to reopen border for key workers

The foreign minister has announced that Hungary and Romania will reopen their shared border to commuters. Minister Szijjártó said he and his Romanian counterpart have agreed that the policy will apply to Hungarians and Romanians living within a 30km radius of the border.

07:05 AM - March 26: State-of-the-art tent hospital built in Budapest

Ferenc Korom, the commander of the Hungarian Armed Forces, said the army has built a tent hospital in a single day in the courtyard of Budapest’s St. László Hospital.

06:45 AM - March 26: Number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen to 261

More Hungarian citizens have been diagnosed with the coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the confirmed number of people infected in Hungary to 261.

06:30 PM - March 25: Senior British diplomat Steven Dick has died of the coronavirus in Hungary

The 37-year-old, Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Budapest, passed away on Tuesday after testing positive for the virus at an earlier date.

01:55 PM - March 25: Government alone has the authority to impose curfew restrictions

The Hungarian government alone has the authority to impose curfew restrictions, the regulations in force during a state of emergency do not allow mayors to impose curfew restrictions or a full curfew in relation to the free movement of residents in their settlements.

12:45 PM - March 25: MOL to produce 50,000 liters of disinfectant per day

Péter Ratatics has announced that MOL will produce 50,000 liters of disinfectant per day in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The new product will be available in retail stores within the next two weeks.

08:45 AM - March 25: Cabinet will convene today to “resolve” problems arising from expiring state of emergency measures

The cabinet will convene today to “resolve” problems arising from expiring measures issued under the state of emergency introduced due to the novel coronavirus epidemic.

08:15 AM - March 25: LOT Polish Airlines to help bring Hungarians home

Hungarian nationals still stranded abroad because of the coronavirus measures will be flown to Budapest by Polish airline LOT.

08:05 AM - March 25: State Secretary welcomes Japan's decision to postpone 2020 Olympics

Tünde Szabó, State Secretary for Sports, has welcomed Japan and the International Olympic Committee’s decision to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

07:55 AM - March 25: Wizz Air grounds 85 percent of its fleet

Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air has grounded around 85 percent of its fleet and cancelled flights due to travel restrictions introduced by governments to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.

07:45 AM - March 25: State Secretary says opposition is hindering government protection efforts

Zoltán Kovács said the opposition stymied the government’s protection efforts against the novel coronavirus by refusing to debate extending special measures in an extraordinary session of parliament.

07:35 AM - March 25: 226 confirmed cases while British man dies in Hungary  

More Hungarian citizens have been diagnosed with the coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the number of people infected in Hungary to 226. A British patient has also died.

07:05 AM - March 25: Number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen to 226

The number of patients diagnosed with the coronavirus in Hungary has risen to 226. Hungary has reached the second stage of the epidemic, the stage of group disease, when infection spreads in public upon personal contact.

02:35 PM - March 24: Regulations related to taxation released

The immediate measures adopted with a view to alleviating the economic effects of the coronavirus epidemic have been published in Magyar Közlöny (Hungarian Gazette).

12:35 PM - March 24: Operational Group confirms nine deaths and new protective equipment sent out to hospitals

Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller confirmed today that nine people have passed away from the coronavirus in Hungary and urged people to abide by the rules and regulations put in place by the government. “The virus can be anywhere and anybody can become infected,” she said.

Colonel Tibor Lakatos, Head of the Operational Group, revealed that a flight landed from China this morning with a significant amount of health equipment on board. Almost 70 tons of medical and protective equipment arrived as part of a joint purchase by the Ministry of Innovation and Technology and Semmelweis University, the new shipment includes more than 3 million face masks and 86 ventilators. “The masks will go to health workers and then to those involved in the fight against the virus,” Lakatos said.

10:05 AM - March 24: Contactless payment limit raised to HUF 15,000 to help reduce virus

Increasing the contactless limit to HUF 15,000 serves to slow down the epidemic as it reduces the need for customers using bank cards to come into physical contact with PIN terminals.

09:50 AM - March 24: New shipment of more than 3 million face masks, protective gear and 86 ventilators arrives in Hungary

Almost 70 tons of medical and protective equipment arrived in Budapest this morning. As part of a joint purchase by the Ministry of Innovation and Technology and Semmelweis University, the new shipment includes more than 3 million face masks and 86 ventilators.

09:20 AM - March 24: Hungary is at the start of a long period of protective measures against the novel coronavirus

PM Orbán called on lawmakers to put aside political disputes and stand together. Cooperation will be crucial in the difficult times to come, he said.

08:45 AM - March 24: There are 218 Hungarians in quarantine in other countries worldwide

Tibor Lakatos, head of the Operational Group fighting the outbreak in Hungary, said the majority, 187 Hungarians, have been isolated in Austria, while one person is in quarantine in Germany, and 30 in countries outside Europe.

07:50 AM - March 24: People infected with the new coronavirus have been found in all counties in Hungary

The number of people to have contracted COVID-19 has started to grow exponentially. In the past 24 hours alone, 36 patients have been confirmed to be suffering from the disease.

07:15 AM - March 24: Number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen to 187

The number of patients diagnosed with the coronavirus in Hungary has risen to 187. Hungary has reached the second stage of the epidemic, the stage of group disease, when infection spreads in public upon personal contact.

7:53 PM - March 23: Another elderly man has passed away and the number of those recovered increased to 21

Another elderly man has died from the coronavirus, but the number of those recovered has now reached 21. With the onset of mass disease, the government asks that the elderly, students and those returning from abroad, as well as anyone else able to do so, stay home and for everyone to follow all rules and recommendations.

03:15 PM - March 23: Police checking people entering Hungary and those instructed to stay in compulsory home quarantine  

Tibor Lakatos, head of the duty center of the Operational Group responsible for the containment of the coronavirus infection, said border controls are ongoing in the interest of containing the epidemic.

12:50 PM - March 23: PM Orbán says the more we cooperate, the more lives we can save

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has revealed details about the four avenues of defense against the coronavirus.

Read more here.

12:05 PM - March 23: 30,050 protective suits and 82,000 face masks delivered to Hungary

An aircraft carrying 11 tons of protective gear arrived from Shanghai at Budapest’s international airport this morning.

08:40 AM - March 23: Calls for parliament to pass the government’s proposal to extend the state of emergency

Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, has called on parliament to pass the government’s proposal to extend the state of emergency with regard to the novel coronavirus epidemic.

08:20 AM - March 23: Hungary and Serbia cooperate in the response to the coronavirus epidemic  

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić have agreed to provide constant contact and cooperation in the countries’ response to the coronavirus epidemic.

07:15 AM - March 23: Number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen to 167

The number of patients diagnosed with the coronavirus in Hungary has risen to 167. Hungary has reached the second stage of the epidemic, the stage of group disease, when infection spreads in public upon personal contact.

12:42 PM - March 22: Documents verifying eligibility for travel discounts accepted without up-to-date validation

Local and regional transport service providers will accept expired official documents verifying eligibility for travel discounts, including for those without up-to-date validation, until the 15th day following the end of the state of emergency declared due to the coronavirus epidemic, the Ministry for Innovation and Technology announced.

The measure aims to facilitate transportation for people until 15 days after the current state of emergency has come to an end.

11:53 AM - March 22: Four new recovered patients leave hospital

Four new, recovered coronavirus patients were able to leave Budapest’s St. László Hospital earlier today. The total number of recovered people now stands at 16. Many thanks to the doctors and nurses for their hard work.

10:53 AM - March 22: Number of people deceased rises to six, 12 recovered

Two Hungarian women, aged 65 and 75, have died as a result of the coronavirus infection. The number of those who have succumbed to the disease in Hungary now stands at six. May they all rest in peace.

Meanwhile, 12 people have recovered from coronavirus in Hungary so far.

09:19 AM - March 22: Number of confirmed coronavirus patients has risen to 131

Additional Hungarian nationals have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19); as a result, the number of confirmed patients diagnosed in Hungary has risen to 131.

We have reached the second stage of the epidemic, the stage of cluster infections, when infection spreads in public via face-to-face interactions. Now in Hungary, too, the virus can be present anywhere. In order to slow down large-scale infection, it is very important that the elderly and students, as well as anyone who is able to do so, stay at home; and everyone is asked to observe all rules and recommendations laid out by the government.

03:45 PM - March 21: National Media and Infocommunications Authority: Only visit the post office if absolutely necessary

The coronavirus is also taking its toll on postal services. Therefore, those who can should transfer money online instead of paying bills at the post office, should write e-mail messages instead of sending conventional mail, should check out webstores before placing an order and should track consignments on their websites.

03:30 PM - March 21: University of Pécs identifies full genetic code of virus

The full genetic code of the coronavirus has been successfully identified, and this is an important step in furthering domestic and international research, the University of Pécs has announced.

03:20 PM - March 21: Operational Group says we may soon enter the era of mass illnesses in Hungary

“We must act as one; every action that reduces the number of human contacts contributes to a decrease in infections,” Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller said this afternoon, adding that “this way, we can delay the spread of mass infections.”

Read more here.

02:50 PM - March 21: Coronavirus has created a new threat for illegal migrants

Hungary's Chief Security Advisor György Bakondi has said the coronavirus has created a new threat for illegal migrants. The Greek-Turkish border has a shrinking number of migrants, but the Greek islands are still overcrowded and the coronavirus has now appeared there.

09:45 AM - March 21: Government to seek Parliament’s support with bill on containment of coronavirus epidemic

On Friday, on behalf of the government, Justice Minister Judit Varga submitted to Parliament a bill on the containment of the coronavirus epidemic. The government is asking all parliamentary groups to support the bill.

09:05 AM - March 21: Budapest and county defense committees are helping to protect against the coronavirus epidemic

The defense committees of Budapest and Hungary’s 19 counties will be holding a session during the course of today in the interests of coordinating and assisting the work of organizations taking part in efforts to protect against the coronavirus epidemic.

08:20 AM - March 21: Number of those infected rises to 103

The number of patients diagnosed with the coronavirus in Hungary has risen to 103. Hungary has reached the second stage of the epidemic, the stage of group disease, when infection spreads in public upon personal contact.

08:10 AM - March 21: Four people have now succumbed to the coronavirus in Hungary

Another Hungarian citizen was confirmed deceased last night after having contracted the coronavirus. The 54-year-old man suffered from multiple chronic illnesses, aside from the virus.

04:40 PM - March 20: Over 65s are most at risk

During this afternoon’s Operational Group press conference, Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller has underlined that those aged over 65 are an extremely at risk age group, and those suffering with chronic illnesses should stay at home at any age.

Read more here.

04:25 PM - March 20: Chief Medical Officer confirms three dead from coronavirus

Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller confirmed our news this morning that over the past 24 hours, the number of patients infected has increased to 85 and two patients have lost their lives, bringing the total number of deceased to three.

04:10 PM - March 20: Foreign minister says Hungary has set up a humanitarian corridor for Romanians making their way from Austria to their homeland

Government sets up a humanitarian corridor for Romanians making their way from Austria to their homeland.

03:20 PM - March 20: New regulations concerning package deliveries and emergency public procurements  

According to the latest ordinances published in the Hungarian Gazette, new regulations have been introduced in relation to package delivery services and out-of-store commerce, and also public procurements.

Read more here.

01:20 PM - March 20: NKM temporarily suspend personal reading of meters by their staff

In light of the coronavirus epidemic, the distributing members of the National Utilities (NKM) group, NKM Natural Gas Network Ltd., NKM Electricity Network Ltd., and NKM North-South Natural Gas Network Ltd., are temporarily suspending the personal reading of meters by their staff.

12:40 PM - March 20: People displaying mild symptoms must stay in home quarantine

The Hungarian government has said we can only slow this disease down if everyone observes the necessary precautionary measures.

People displaying mild symptoms must remain in stay-at-home quarantine. People with severe symptoms, those who fall into any of the high-risk groups and those who require hospital care will naturally be hospitalized.

11:25 AM - March 20: Another two Hungarians have succumbed to the coronavirus

Two elderly people have succumbed to the coronavirus. The two Hungarian men were 68 and 79-years-old, bringing the total number of deaths in Hungary to three.

10:25 AM - March 20: Defense ministry sets up operative groups to ensure operation of essential services  

Operative groups set up by the defense ministry have started working at 71 Hungarian companies to coordinate containment measures in connection with the novel coronavirus epidemic.

10:05 AM - March 20: Finance minister meets with Hungarian Banking Association to discuss new economic measures

Hungarian Banking Association chairman András Becsei said the banking sector is prepared to work together with the government on protecting against the fallout of the novel coronavirus epidemic.

09:50 AM - March 20: Foreign ministry has set up a working group to organize the return of Hungarians stranded abroad

The foreign ministry has set up a working group to organize the return of Hungarians stranded abroad. The group has been in talks with other central European countries to fly Hungarians home from distant countries.

09:20 AM - March 20: PM Orbán says coronavirus outbreak in Hungary has not yet reached the stage of mass illnesses, but this is likely soon

During his regular slot on Kossuth Radio this morning, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said the novel coronavirus outbreak in Hungary has not yet reached the stage of mass illnesses, but this is likely soon.

Read more here.

09:10 AM - March 20: Seven people with coronavirus have been fully healed

In his regular Friday morning interview on public radio, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated that according to recent data, there are 85 people currently infected with coronavirus, six of whom are in a critical condition, and seven have been fully healed.

06:55 AM - March 20: Number of those infected rises to 85

The number of patients diagnosed with the coronavirus in Hungary has risen to 85. Hungary has reached the second stage of the epidemic, the stage of group disease, when infection spreads in public upon personal contact.

04:35 PM - March 19: Operational Group says goal now is to avoid mass disease

The Operational Group has said the goal now is to avoid mass disease.

“Personal responsibility is crucial for avoiding mass disease,” said Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller at today’s press conference.

Read more here.

04:30 PM - March 19: Six coronavirus victims are in intensive care

At this afternoon’s Operational Group press conference, Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller confirmed that there are now 73 registered cases of coronavirus in Hungary. 

Müller added that the patient's conditions vary, but unfortunately six of them are being treated in intensive care and are in a serious condition.

01:20 PM - March 19: State of emergency extended

Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, has revealed that is was crucial for parliament to extend the state of emergency declared last week in connection with protective measures against the coronavirus.

At a press briefing this morning, Gulyás noted that the state of emergency could only remain in force for a period of 15 days, after which parliament’s approval would be necessary for an extension.

Read more here.

12:40 PM - March 19: Hungary doing everything possible to ensure continuous and unhindered freight transport

“We are continuing to do everything possible to ensure continuous and unhindered freight transport, because this is necessary for the security of people’s supply, and for the functioning of countries’ economies,” the foreign minister said.

11:55 AM - March 19: Record number of volunteers have applied to help fight the coronavirus

Almost 900 volunteers applied for the call within two days, most of them medical, pharmacist and dental students, but also a significant number of graduate doctors and health professionals.

11:45 AM - March 19: PM Orbán addresses transit passengers heading for neighboring countries

At this morning’s Operational Group meeting, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was informed about the status of transit passengers heading for neighboring countries. He spoke about this topic in a video message posted on his Facebook account before the beginning of the meeting.

“I sincerely hope that those who had to transit through the humanitarian corridors were able to do so,” the prime minister said in a video message posted on his social media account.

11:10 AM - March 19: New economic measures published in the Hungarian Gazette

The decrees concerning the immediate measures adopted to alleviate the economic impacts of the coronavirus epidemic have been published in Magyar Közlöny [Hungarian Gazette].

Read more here.

08:40 AM - March 19: More than 2,800 home quarantines have been ordered

Tibor Lakatos, the head of the Operational Group, said that between March 12 and Tuesday at midnight 2,817 compulsory home quarantine orders were issued, and 5,094 checks were carried out with a view to verifying compliance with the rules of compulsory home quarantine.

08:30 AM - March 19: Unfortunately, we are still seeing many elderly people in the streets, shops and on public transport

“We are still seeing many elderly people on public transport, in shops, and in the streets. I am asking them most respectfully to accept our advice as we are worried about them, they are most at risk from serious complications during the progression of the coronavirus infection,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Cecília Müller.

08:15 AM - March 19: Markets remain open, but the elderly should ask others to do their shopping

As part of the measures implemented in light of the state of emergency, most shops have not been allowed to remain open beyond 3 p.m.

The restrictions do not apply to markets mostly operating in outdoor spaces and typically closing in the early hours of the afternoon.

08:05 AM - March 19: Number of those infected rises to 73

The number of patients diagnosed with the coronavirus in Hungary has risen to 73.

Hungary has reached the second stage of the epidemic, the stage of group incidences, when infection spreads in public, upon personal contact.

05:50 PM - March 18: PM Orbán announces new economy and job protection measures adopted by the government due to the coronavirus epidemic

During a national address on his Facebook page this afternoon, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced that the principal and interest payment liabilities on loans taken out by private individuals and businesses up to the present day have been suspended up to the end of the year.

Read more about the new measures here.

04:55 PM - March 18: Chronic disease patients should not attend routine tests or collect prescriptions

The Hungarian Society of Cardiology is asking patients suffering from chronic cardiovascular diseases not to attend routine tests and not to visit hospitals and surgeries for prescriptions due to the coronavirus epidemic.

The Hungarian Society of Cardiology states that based on data gathered, the viral infection primarily results in serious complications which might even lead to fatality for the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases. This high-risk group includes patients suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes and various heart diseases such as coronary artery disease, cardiac failure, cardiac valvular abnormalities and cardiac arrhythmia.

04:05 PM - March 18: Ban on visiting introduced in relation to residential social institutions

A ban on visiting, outdoor access and new admissions has been introduced with relation to residential social institutions.

Several professional protocols and new regulations are making the work and lives of people working within social fields safer during the state of emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

03:35 PM - March 18: International post subject to delays

Worldwide postal services are slowing down due to the coronavirus epidemic. In several countries, restrictions have been introduced in air and road traffic which have also caused disruptions in the forwarding of postal consignments.

02:51 PM - March 18: PM Orbán consults with European leaders

Following a cabinet meeting today, PM Orbán will make an announcement on his social media account.

According to his communications team, the live broadcast will start on PM Orbán's Facebook account at 3 p.m.

11:58 AM - March 18: Government and document offices will only receive customers by appointment

In the interest of preventing the spread of the coronavirus, government and document offices will only receive customers by appointment from March 18.

At the same time, the operation of Mobile Government Window Customer Services (“KAB buses”) has been suspended indefinitely. If you have forgotten your client gate identifier, staff members at the Government Customer Line available at the toll-free number 1818 will be happy to help.

08:20 AM - March 18: Government has ordered “many” coronavirus tests

The Hungarian government has ordered “many” coronavirus tests and will take steps to accelerate laboratory procedures.

Chief medical officer Cecília Müller said the number of test laboratories has been “significantly increased”, noting that there was a larger demand in view of the number of new cases and contacts.

08:15 AM - March 18: Several hospitals designated as quarantine centers

Several hospitals across the country are being designated as quarantine centers and “epidemic hospitals” in addition to the South Pest Central Hospital’s St László unit.

Ildikó Horváth, State Secretary in charge of healthcare, told parliament’s public welfare committee that a mobile quarantine hospital is being constructed in Kiskunhalas, in south-eastern Hungary, and the local hospital will be assigned for the same purpose.

The hospitals of Ajka (W), Szekszárd (S), and Miskolc (NE) will be similarly adapted in view of the novel coronavirus epidemic. The aim is to slow down the spread of the new coronavirus epidemic.

07:40 AM - March 18: Number of those infected increases to 58

The number of people diagnosed with the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) in Hungary has increased to 58 this morning.

Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller said last night that there could be several hundred patients infected with the novel coronavirus over the coming days.

The number of people infected with coronavirus now stands at 58. In quarantine: 122. Recovered: 2. Deceased: 1.

11:40 PM - March 17: Chief Medical Officer says that in the coming days, the number of infected people could reach several hundred

In the coming days, there could be several hundred patients infected with the novel coronavirus in Hungary, Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller stated.

Müller pointed out repeatedly that the elderly are especially at risk from the novel coronavirus, and therefore, primarily those over the age of 70 should stay at home. According to the World Health Organization’s recommendation, you should “maintain social distancing” – meaning you should keep an approximate distance of 2 meters between yourself and others. However, staying at home is the safest option.

11:26 PM - March 17: Chief Medical Officer says coronavirus successfully isolated in laboratory of National Center for Public Health

The coronavirus has been successfully isolated in the National Safety Laboratory of the National Center for Public Health for the first time in Hungary, the Chief Medical Officer announced at the press conference of the Operational Group responsible for the containment of the coronavirus infection.

05:25 PM - March 17: Shops are not allowed to remain open beyond 3 p.m., excluding food stores and pharmacies

According to the government decree adopted as part of a series of emergency measures, from this afternoon shops (e.g. clothing stores, shoe shops, etc.) are not allowed to remain open beyond 3 p.m., not including stores selling foodstuffs, toiletries, household cleaning substances, chemicals and hygiene paper products, pharmacies, stores selling medical supplies, filling stations and tobacco shops.

In other retail stores, only employees are allowed to remain present on the premises between closing time at 3 p.m. and 6 a.m.

It is important that this regulation does not yet apply to the services sector – such as nail parlors, hairdressers and gymnasiums – meaning that they may remain open beyond 3 p.m. At the same time, we strongly advise everyone to comply with disease control precautions.

05:15 PM - March 17: Organizations of pediatricians: Do not take children suspected of infection to surgeries

The organizations of pediatricians are asking parents not to take their children suspected of having contracted coronavirus infection to surgeries or pediatric duty wards. They should instead call their pediatric practitioners or one of the toll-free numbers.

05:05 PM - March 17: Post offices will remain open beyond 3 p.m.

The regulation under which shops and restaurants must close at 3 p.m. due to the coronavirus epidemic does not apply to post offices. Post offices will receive customers during the opening hours stated at the entrance.

04:55 PM - March 17: NAV has suspended customer services in eight locations in Pest County

Customer services will be suspended indefinitely at the Dabas, Nagykáta, Ráckeve and Szigetszentmikós offices of the Pest County Tax and Customs Directorate of the National Tax and Customs Adminis