Hungary mandates masks indoors as fourth wave hits

In Hungary, the number of new infection now exceeds 10,000 per day

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Kerékgyártó-Ternovácz
Shoppers wearing masks at a Budapest shopping center. (Magyar Nemzet/Zoltán Havran)

Battling the still rising fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Hungary will again make wearing face masks compulsory in all indoors public venues from Saturday, cabinet minister Gergely Gulyás said on Thursday after the weekly government session.

“From Saturday, it will be mandatory to wear a mask indoors, and a third vaccination will be made mandatory for health care workers. This is also planned in the state administration. In schools and vocational training institutions, the school management will decide on the rules for wearing a mask,” Gulyás added.

Gulyás said current epidemiologic models suggest the fourth wave of the epidemic may peak at the end of November and the beginning of December.

“Experts continue to say that only vaccination provides protection,” the minister in charge of the prime minister’s office added.

The official explained that the government is proposing to include a third booster vaccine, which he says is also justified by the opinion of experts.

According to him, this could be the last wave of the virus if everyone vaccinates themselves, but if the population doesn’t, more and more waves could come.

On Wednesday, the pandemic claimed 131 victims in Hungary, most of them elderly, bringing the total since the beginning of the pandemic to 32,645. The number of people recovered is constantly increasing, which stands at 833,416 people, and the number of active infected people has risen to 121,138 people.

Data shows that 5,969 patients with coronavirus are currently being treated in hospitals, 606 of whom are on ventilators. A vaccination week will take place from Nov. 22-28 to curb the fourth wave of the epidemic and increase the country’s vaccination rate, meaning that 101 vaccination points will be open 12 hours a day and will vaccinate anyone even without prior registration or appointment.

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