Hungary to lift most Covid-19 restrictions, maintains state of emergency

Mask mandates and employers’ requirements for vaccination certificates will be scrapped from Monday

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Magyar Nemzet
Man wearing a mask in downtown Budapest. (Magyar Nemzet/Máté Bach)

Hungary will soon lift most of its existing social restrictions with the fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic coming to an end, cabinet minister Gergely Gulyás announced on Thursday.

The obligation to wear a mask will be abolished from Monday, as will the rule allowing employers to require compulsory vaccination with the exception of health and social care institutions.

The requirement for use of vaccination certificates will also be removed.

The state of health emergency, however, will be retained primarily due to the danger of a possible sixth wave and partly because it allows the government to act more efficiently and effectively when necessary to do so, Gulyás explained.

Hungary, a country with a population of just under 10 million people has vaccinated 6.4 million, of whom 6.2 million received a second dose and 3.8 million were administered with a third booster vaccine.

According to the latest data on the Hungarian government’s coronavirus website, 3,064 new infections have been confirmed, bringing the total number of identified cases of Covid-19 in the country to 1.8 million since the beginning of the pandemic.

There have been 75 recent deaths reported — the majority of whom were elderly, chronic patients — bringing the total number of deaths to 44,286.

The number of people who have recovered from infection is steadily rising and currently stands at 1,610,315, with the number of active infections dropping to 142,456. Hospitals currently care for 3,120 patients with coronavirus, 126 of whom are on ventilators.

The portal added that the country is in the descending line of the fifth wave of the epidemic, with a decline in the number of infected and hospitalized patients. Vaccinations can be booked on an ongoing basis, and the vaccination campaign will continue at hospital checkpoints on Thursday afternoons, Fridays and Saturdays.

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