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Apr 16, 2020

Coronavirus Update: Restrictions on movement extended for one more week

An extension of movement restrictions, written exams and new measures were announced at today’s Government Info press conference.

Gergely Gulyás, the minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office, revealed today that the government has decided that movement restrictions will remain in place one more week from Saturday.

The minister said the epidemic will probably last for months, not weeks, so we need to be prepared for this eventuality. It is also possible that the number of infections will increase after a decrease or peak. “We managed to flatten the curve, today we may have gotten a little closer to the peak ahead of previous estimates,” he said.

The minister reported that the cost of fighting the coronavirus has reached HUF 500 billion. “The current situation means a loss of HUF 200 billion in GDP per week,” he said, adding that “we are announcing more and more economic action plans; and the government is reviewing the situation on a weekly basis.”

Gulyás said the government will make every effort to ensure that all equipment is available. “The task is to make the healthcare system suitable for the period of mass disease, to this end, the number of beds required was determined according to the worst case scenario,” he said.

Considering the recommendation of the Education Operational Group, the government decided that this year only written exams will be held and oral exams will take place only where it’s necessary. “Exams start on May 4 and only students from the last year of high school can take graduation exams. If someone decides they don’t want to graduate, they can do so in the fall as well,” he said, adding that “graduation exams must be held to avoid chaos in higher education later.”

Minister Gulyás also announced some new measures focusing on relieving economic pressure on Hungarian citizens and businesses. “The government has decided to postpone the reports and tax returns; these must be met by September, 30, 2020,” he said. From July 1, the rate of social contribution tax will be reduced by 2 percent; and there will be areas where the rate of VAT on the construction of new flats will be reduced from 27 to 5 percent. “We are also examining the possibility of extending the exemption from tax contributions to new sectors,” the minister added.

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