Say what you will, I personally do not follow the news. Not in times of peace and not in times of a pandemic either. It makes me want to tear out my arteries and hang myself with them. Ignorance is indeed bliss, and if something is that important, it’ll get to me eventually.
I do however sneak the occasional peak at the relevant sources e.g. (https://koronavirus.gov.hu) just so I know what I’m allowed to do. Wouldn’t want to miss out on any new opportunities.
Things are definitely going in the right direction now, regulations are slowly being lifted.
Here are the updates since my last article on the topic:
- Outdoor sporting and cultural (theatre performances, cinema screenings, exhibitions, circus shows) events now may be held and visited, provided that the organizers make sure visitors are seated three chairs from one another, nobody sits right in front or behind each other, and a 1.5 meter distance is still kept. If you ask me, I would prefer the distance to be made a forever thing but I’m guessing the world is a bit too overcrowded for that.
- The interior of restaurants are now operational. You can now sit down inside and eat, but the staff is still required to wear masks, and the magical 1.5 meters should still be kept. I wonder when eating-friendly masks will become a thing.
- Businesses providing accommodation can now receive guests.
- Outdoor playgrounds are now open. If you missed the shrieks of children from your friendly neighbourhood playground… well, you won’t any longer.
- Hungary, Austria, The Czech Republic Germany and Slovakia have opened their shared borders without the need for mandatory quarantine. Please make sure still to check on specific regulations when travelling, because it might get tricky in some cases. That’s what consulates are for I guess?
- Hungarian and Serbian citizens may travel from one country to the other, without limitations.
- The same goes for Slovenian and Hungarian citizens. [In terms of expats only those EU/EEA citizens who hold permanent residence in Hungary can also travel freely. We’re currently trying to establish if spouses of Hungarian citizens can also travel without restriction].
Schools and nurseries
- Nurseries all over the country have now reopened. Imagine the pezsgő sales from exhausted but relieved parents.
- The increased maximum driving time and decreased minimum resting time for freight drivers will get back to normal. Yay for the freight companies and drivers, thanks to whom we didn’t have to go without essentials during lockdown.
- Schools can now accept students again. While education still happens online until the end of this school term, small groups may gather for consultation and one-on-one classes may be held. I remember that feeling of school in June. Oh, the antici… pation!
- Hungarian and Austrian citizens can enter Hungary from Austria without a mandatory home quarantine in case they have a negative COVID-19 test not older than 4 days. However, if in the two weeks following entry they experience symptoms of the virus, they are prohibited from leaving their place of residence and are required to notify authorities.
- Drive-in concerts can be held. I’ve never been to one of these and am missing the real thing like crazy, but this is a solution I can get behind. I mean, it seems like an exciting new way to support your favourite band.
- Keeping a safe, 1.5 meter distance from other people unless you live in the same household.
- When entering a store or using public transportation, you are required to cover your mouth and nose with a mask or scarf. In other words, it’s still Mask City, people!
- The 9-12 time window is still reserved for citizens over the age of 65 in grocery stores, drugstores and pharmacies.
- Mass events still cannot be held. My heart’s bleeding but keep in mind, 2021 will have a festival season too, I hope.
Let us not forget that the danger that is COVID-19 is still present. While scientists around the world work their butts off to figure out a way to cure and/or prevent the disease, our job remains: keeping ourselves and each other safe.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find a car and a drive-in gig to enjoy!
By Andi Thomas