Hungarian authorities announced on Saturday, May 16, that the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in place in Budapest will begin to be lifted from Monday, May 18.
Restaurants and cafes will be permitted to reopen their terraces and shops will be allowed to reopen in the capital. Additionally, public parks, swimming pools and baths and the city zoo will also be able to reopen and resume operating. According to reports, it will be mandatory for all individuals to wear face masks in shops and on public transport and social distancing measures will continue in establishments. A designated three-hour window for individuals over the age of 65 will remain in place at pharmacies and grocery shops.
Schools will reportedly remain closed across the country, until at least the end of May. Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD) remains open, however, only Hungarian citizens and permanent residents of the European Economic Area (EEA) are permitted to enter the county. The country's land borders remain closed to foreign visitors. On Thursday, April 30, the Hungarian government began easing restrictions outside of the capital and in its outskirts, reopening restaurants and shops in the rest of the country.
As of Sunday, May 17, there have been 3509 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hungary and 451 associate fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.
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