The official government decree, published on Monday, March 16, introduces new limitations on how and where people can meet and interact to curb the spread of the disease.

Theatres, museums, libraries, cinemas and other cultural facilities will be closed. Restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops will be allowed to open from 6am until 3pm, and restaurants can still prepare meals for take-away after 3pm without any restraint. The restriction will not apply to food stores, pharmacies, drug stores, petrol stations and tobacco shops.

All public events in Hungary are now banned. Sporting events can be held behind closed doors, namely without spectators.

The government has advised the elderly to take extra care and not to leave home, as they are the most endangered by the epidemic. People are allowed to go to church, nor is it forbidden to attend civil wedding ceremonies and funerals.

Violations of the measures can result in the police imposing a fine of from HUF 5000 to HUF 500,000.

The government has closed the borders to all passenger transport and only Hungarian citizens are being allowed to enter.

More and more service provider companies are temporarily closing their customer offices to protect their employees and to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.

From Monday, Budapest Electric Works (ELMŰ) is providing services with increased precautions. Customers can only use the company's digital platforms to conduct their business. Official papers can be sent via mail or e-mail.

The National Tax and Customs Administration of Hungary (NAV) has also suspended personal customer service at eight of its Pest County offices.

The Budapest Government Office has asked people to visit the one-stop-shop “government windows” (kormányablak) in person only if absolutely necessary and if they already have an appointment. Otherwise, people are encouraged to use their services online.

Magyar Posta, Hungarian Post, has introduced a new queuing policy, similar to pharmacies: only as many customers can be present in the building at the same time as there are counters.

The government ordered a state of emergency last Wednesday. First, it banned travellers from Italy, China, South Korea and Iran, except for Hungarian citizens arriving from those locations who have to stay in isolation at home for two weeks after arrival. The government also decided to ban indoor events with more than 100 people in attendance, and outdoor events with more than 500 people. Universities were also closed with remote study options. From Monday, public schools have been shut down, and students started online distance learning. There is a ban on foreign school excursions. The government also initiated the construction of an epidemiology hospital.


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