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Hungary Imposes Strict Restrictions As Coronavirus Situation Worsens

Hungarian Prime Minster Viktor Orban announced the new restrictions on November 9.

The Hungarian government has imposed its strictest pandemic measures so far amid a quickly worsening COVID-19 situation, drastically changing course after weeks of lax restrictions and an optimistic outlook from Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The new restrictions kicked in early on November 11 and include an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, restaurants and bars being limited to takeout and home delivery, mandatory mask-wearing in public areas, a 10-person ceiling on family gatherings, remote learning for high school and university students, and limits on sports events.

They new measures will remain in effect for at least 30 days.

In announcing the lockdown on November 9, Orban said that, if the number of infections continued to grow at the current rate, "then our doctors...and our hospitals [won’t be able to] cope with the burden."

Daily coronavirus deaths in Hungary jumped above 100 for the third time on November 11, bringing the total to 2,697 -- with about half recorded in the past two weeks.

Nearly 123,000 confirmed infections have been reported so far in the country of nearly 10 million.

Members of Hungary’s opposition have criticized the measures as being too little, too late.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and dpa