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Hungary Tightens Coronavirus Curbs Amid Jump In Infections

Disinfecting the streets in Budapest, Hungary, in August, in a training exercise for emergency officials. (file photo)

BUDAPEST -- The Hungarian government has announced the country's strictest anti-coronavirus measures to date after the authorities reported record-breaking hospitalizations and deaths cause by COVID-19.

In a video posted on Facebook on November 9, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said a general curfew would be imposed nationwide between 8 p.m and 5 a.m. and apply to everyone except those going to work.

Staring midnight on November 10, businesses will also have to close at 7 p.m., while restaurants will be limited to takeaway and home delivery, sporting events will be held without fans, and family gatherings and other private events will be limited to 10 people, Orban said.

Preschools, kindergartens, and classes for children up to 14 years old will remain open, but universities and high schools will move to distance learning.

The new restrictions are to remain in place for at least 30 days.

Health authorities reported 5,162 new cases and 55 deaths on November 9, bringing the country's total to more than 114,000 infections and nearly 3,000 fatalities.

"If coronavirus infections rise at the current pace...Hungarian hospitals will not be able to cope with the burden," Orban said in his video address.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, and dpa
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    RFE/RL's Hungarian Service

    RFE/RL’s Hungarian Service -- closed after the Cold War ended -- was relaunched on September 8, 2020, in response to the country’s steep decline in media freedom. It's an entirely digital service dedicated to serving the public interest by representing a diversity of views and providing reliable, unbiased reporting about the issues audiences care about most.