After the planned reopening of Hungary’s terraces on Saturday, the next milestone in the country’s lifting of restrictions could come sooner than many anticipated. According to information acquired by pro-government daily Magyar Hírlap, once 4 million people have received their inoculation, hotels, spas, cinemas, theaters, and other cultural events can also reopen their doors.
A few weeks ago, Viktor Orbán said in an interview that “we’re close to the point at which there will once more be social and communal events, attended by those who have vaccination certificates.”
Then last week the prime minister announced that once 3.5 million people in Hungary are vaccinated, restaurants will be allowed to reopen for outdoor service.
Based on the information now acquired by pro-government daily Magyar Hírlap, the next significant step is about to come at the four million mark, when hotels, spas, cinemas, theaters, and other cultural events will reopen as well.
Everyone over the age of 18 with a valid vaccination certificate will be able to visit these places. Minors will also be allowed to enter and they won’t be required to have certificates.
After the terraces, caterers can also reopen their interiors, where staff will be obliged to wear masks, guests however will be allowed to take them off while eating.
Additionally, visiting restaurants and other catering businesses will be possible without the need for vaccination cards.
At his regular press briefing on Thursday, the prime minister’s chief of staff, Gergely Gulyás, said that the government had always tried to keep pace with the “opening roadmap.” He reconfirmed that the government will make a decision on the next step of gradual reopening this week, which will be announced to the public by Prime minister Viktor Orbán.
However, Gulyás did not go into further details regarding the sectors the reopening will affect, or if the vaccination card will be of any use, granting access only for those inoculated. He only stated that those under 18 who could not be vaccinated due to their young age, cannot be discriminated against. This also suggests, as the pro-government daily wrote, the under-aged will also be allowed to enjoy the extended freedom the next easing will grant, and they won’t be required to have vaccination cards either.
Previously, Viktor Orbán said that the number of Hungarians who have received their first dose of a vaccine will have reached four million by early May. Considering the current pace of Hungary’s vaccination drive, this seems to be a reasonable prediction. According to Gulyás, the goal could even be reached as early as next week.
Featured photo illustration by Tamás Kovács/MTI