István Ujhelyi, an MEP for the opposition Socialists, has called on the government to immediately provide 100 billion forints (EUR 279m) to Hungary’s tourism, catering and cultural sector’s players and ease coronavirus-related restrictions to help these sectors’ revival.
“Today, the future existence of around 600,000 people employed in these sectors is under threat,” Ujhelyi told an online press conference. “I’m here not to incite for breaching the rules, but to ask from the government thoroughly considered rational decisions that could help revive the economy and ease the psychological effects of the pandemic on members of society.”
Besides the financial support, Ujhelyi called for an immediate re-opening of zoos, wildlife parks, skating rinks and adventure parks on the condition that these facilities observe pandemic-related hygienic regulations and set limits to the number of visitors.
He further called for immediate consultations with the operators of museums, theatres, cinemas, libraries and circuses on the possibility of a gradual re-opening, on the condition that these institutions ensure the observation of rules on mask-wearing, social distancing and visitor quotas.
Ujhelyi proposed that hotels should re-open for hosting a limited number of guests by keeping to a strict health protocol and restaurants should be allowed to re-open their outdoor terraces under strict guest and table count rules.
The Socialist MEP initiated beginning the evening curfew at 9 or 10pm instead of 8pm and simultaneously extending the opening hours of shops in a bid to reduce the crowd of shoppers around the curfew and closing times.
He urged immediate talks between the government and the affected sectors’ unions on the matter.
Featured photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI