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Mar 19, 2020

Coronavirus Update: More than 2,800 compulsory home quarantine orders issued

The implementation of the extraordinary measures against the coronavirus epidemic is ongoing, including border controls.

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.

Those who fail to remain in compulsory quarantine can expect sanctions, and at the same time act in a gravely irresponsible manner, given that it is in consequence of such irresponsible behaviour that they can infect others and the spread of the epidemic can accelerate. 

In transit traffic only those may enter the country whose incident-free transit through the country is ensured.

The authorities also checked compliance with the measures restricting the opening hours of commercial establishments. Voluntary law observance is in the majority; however, fines to the value of HUF 350,000 have already been imposed on seven individuals due to the violation of the rules. They will continue checks at commercial establishments in which the National Tax and Customs Administration will also provide help. 

They are likewise continuously monitoring instances where individuals seek to profiteer from the virus situation, thereby causing Hungarian people to sustain losses. They are determined to prevent individuals from profiteering from the present extraordinary situation. They are conducting consumer protection checks, and are also monitoring whether the products offered by merchants are suitable for the purpose for which they are sold. They want to foil attempts to profiteer from the present distressing situation. 

Under the present circumstances, the government’s measures are aimed at guaranteeing the supply of Hungarian citizens, whilst slowing down the spread of the virus. He highlighted that these measures were necessary, among others, in the interest of ensuring the smooth flow of cargo traffic in order to guarantee the supply of goods for citizens also in Hungary.

At present, waiting times at Hegyeshalom are below an hour, while cargo traffic can now also proceed via Kópháza and Rábafüzes. Cargo traffic is problem-free within the country, he added. Smooth cargo traffic is one of the pledges of the continued supply of goods for members of the public. He stressed that the supply of goods is steady, domestic traffic is not restricted in any way, while cargo traffic from abroad is also smooth. 

He further reported that at the border the authorities are seeking to proceed in a humane manner. At the same time, the transit access granted to Romanian and Bulgarian nationals had the harmful consequence that all Romanian and Bulgarian nationals who wanted to get home quickly proceeded to Hegyeshalom, and as a result, there was a 29-kilometer-long line of cars on the Austrian side. There were ongoing government-level and police consultations with neighbouring countries, and as a result, they managed to start transit cargo and passenger traffic heading in the directions of Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria.

In answer to a journalist’s question, he observed that at this time the Operational Group had not made any recommendations for the government regarding curfew or lockdown measures. However, he said, it is not out of the question that the time for such measures might come. He pointed out that the implementation of such measures required very thorough modelling and calculations. 

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