Gergely Gulyás, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office, has revealed that wage subsidies for businesses running bars and eateries is being expanded to cover the month of May.
The minister added that bars and restaurants can start serving customers outdoors when the number of Hungarians inoculated against Covid-19 reaches 3.5 million, which is expected around the middle of next week. The government is issuing a decree allowing restaurants to use public spaces free of charge, Gulyás said, adding however that “some Budapest districts” were “planning to raise those fees in the middle of the pandemic”. Gulyás welcomed the “consensus between the government and the city” administration in this regard, and he called on the mayor, Gergely Karácsony, to “talk to people in his own party who take contrary measures” in certain districts of the capital. He noted the Hungarian tourism agency and catering unions have produced guidelines for the hospitality industry so that pandemic-related rules are observed after reopening.
Gulyás added that the reopening of schools will proceed gradually with maximum precautions taken in line with the responses people gave in the government’s national consultation survey. “In the first phase, kindergartens and the lower grades of primary schools will reopen next week,” Gulyás said. Crèches have been open all along and “a large percentage of parents were making use of that option,” he added.