As my dear editor in chief pointed out, I’m making the ultimate sacrifice. Instead of sipping a white wine spritzer on an open terrace with my friends on the first Monday night in over two months where I’m allowed to do so, I’m listening to George Michael’s Freedom on repeat and bringing you the details of the latest government regulations.
Have you heard? The lockdown limitations are being lifted… somewhat. Before you break down your neighbour’s door and hug the living soul out of them, remember, experts warn that there will be a second wave. We should thus be careful with our long-awaited hugging.
- Shops can now open without any time limit. No longer will you need to take half a day off work to spend your hard-earned cash
- Service providers can reopen without time limitations as well. Hell hath no fury like a woman wanting to be beautified after two months of cavewoman-hood.
- Restaurants, bars, hotels and cafes can open their terraces and gardens to the public. This means you still cannot sit inside the establishment, but can have your fancy drink outside in the sun. Vitamin D on the house.
- Outdoor pools, zoos and museums may also open their doors. This makes me want to sit in a kiddie pool while admiring Gustav Klimt’s Kiss and simultaneously petting a baby goat. That should be a thing.
- Community and fitness parks, playgrounds can be visited.
- Following the previously laid out rules, funerals, weddings and religious services may be held. Does the image of masked people in churches scream The Handmaid’s Tale to anyone else? No? It’s just me then
- Limitations regarding public and private health institutions are also lifted.
- Depending on rectors’ individual decisions, students can now visit universities.
- Travel to Hungary is allowed for Hungarian citizens and for citizens of The Czech Republic, Poland, South Korea, Germany, Austria and Slovakia, from these countries, in case of legitimate business trips (there are rules regarding what constitutes “legitimate”). Other exceptions may be made as well, for instance in case of funerals, court-mandated appearances, or school exams. To be safe, before you plan a trip, make sure to check with border control if you are eligible for admittance (click here: https://ugyintezes.police.hu/en/uj-ugy-inditasa/ it’s only in Hungarian but with a little help from a Magyar friend you should be able to submit an enquiry).
I know this is not back to normal normal, but I for one am as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve. Drinks outside! That’s all I‘m saying.
- Apparently, parking is still free, so if you have a car, park that bad boy in the city. Park it real good. Park it like there’s no such thing as a parking ticket!
- The 9 to 12 window in stores is still reserved for the elderly, and while I trust our readers to be responsible citizens, I also ask that you respect this timeframe for all our Nanas and Grandpas sakes.
- Masks are mandatory when you are inside, such as in stores or on public transportation. As can be expected of us humans, we made a vanity project out of this one. You can surely find a mask that expresses your personality, preference or persuasion. I know I did.
- University dormitories are still closed.
- You are still advised to keep a safe 1.5 m distance from other people and go shopping alone.
All in all, I think this is great. It’s a bit like a reward. We were good little girls and boys who obeyed the rules and stayed inside and are now treated with the possibility of meeting our loved ones and enjoying what’s left of spring. And while I’m aching to throw caution to the wind and enjoy these perks in a hedonistic fashion (see my kiddie pool idea above) – I will contain my over excitement and I urge you all to do the same. We are not yet out of the woods.
So, for the umpteenth time, be safe, be cautious and be as free as the government allows you to be.