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Avoiding an exponential rise in the number of infections remains the chief aim of the authorities, Hungary’s Chief Medical Officer said on Friday.

Averting mass transmissions of the virus has been “a major achievement”, Cecília Müller told a press conference of the operative board responsible for coordinating the response to the epidemic. But caution and moderation are still needed, she added.

Restrictions will be eased gradually, she said, At the same time, testing will be rolled out to the general public, she added.

Also, normal health-care services will start to be resumed.

Coronavirus – Hungary on Brink of Mass Infections, says Chief Medical Officer

Wherever possible, work should be carried out remotely, Müller said.

Róbert Kiss, an operative board spokesman, said a new phase of protective measures against the coronavirus will begin from Monday, with new rules for shops, restaurants, spas and events.

He said curfew restrictions will remain in place in Budapest and Pest County but will be eased in the rest of the country, where it will be possible to open and visit all shops, outdoor baths, museums and zoos. Outdoor terraces of cafes and restaurants will also be allowed to open, Kiss added.

Restrictions on events are still in place, but, with the exception of Budapest and Pest county, religious services, civil marriages and funerals can be held while maintaining social distancing, he said.

Rectors can decide on the reopening of higher education institutions, but visits to student hostels are still prohibited.

Coronavirus: Sports Events, Training to be Allowed in Hungary without Spectators from Monday

Sports events can be held without spectators behind closed doors, he said, adding that amateur sports and leisure sports are allowed, he added.

Municipalities can decide locally on the opening hours of markets as well as the hours when the elderly can shop there. Local governments are also allowed to impose stricter rules during the current long weekend.

Answering a question on what measures can be taken to prevent Budapest citizens from going to the countryside en masse, he said the authorities trusted that Budapest and Pest County residents would only leave their homes with good reason.

Featured photo via kormany.hu/MTI

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