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May 21, 2020

Coronavirus Update: Government to begin legal process of coming out of state of emergency on Tuesday

The measures taken in the fight against the coronavirus have been successful so far, therefore the state of emergency can soon be lifted.

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.

“There are countless measures that go beyond the state of emergency legal order which require a law that will be able to maintain them, such as the regulation on the postponement of the deadline for extension of documents,” the minister said.

Gulyás also recalled that in Hungary, after the outbreak of the epidemic, the closures started on the seventh day, while in Italy only on the 22nd day. Hungary also moved significantly faster than other Western European countries, which may lead to better results in the long-term.

Touching upon the decision of the European Court of Justice on the transit zone, Gulyás said that the government doesn’t agree with the judgement but will comply with it. “The transit zone guaranteed the possibility for migrants to apply for asylum and at the same time protected Europe's borders,” he said, adding that it’s a pity that the judgment of the ECJ obliges them to close the transit zone. He added that on the issue of external border protection Hungary will not budge on the matter.

Talking about the economic protection measures and the importance of saving jobs, Minister Gulyás said that according to the latest figures, 101,447 people have so far received jobseeker's allowance; 3,000 new jobs are to be created in the Armed Forces; the employers of 106,000 employees have so far applied for Kurzarbeit, 99 percent of whom will receive it; and the companies who took part in the investment incentive program will maintain more than 96,000 jobs.

“A total of 221,000 jobs have been preserved and 5,000 jobs created in public employment so far,” he said.

A call center set up for advice on the coronavirus can be reached on +36-80-277-455 and +36-80-277-456 or by email koronavirus@bm.gov.hu