Hungary – While the authorities just announced the beginning of the “third wave”, the Hungarian government launched an online national consultation “on the reopening”, following 11 months of restrictive measures taken in order to counter the Covid-19. Since early January, the nationalist party Mi Hazánk argues for the immediate reopening of restaurants, bars, swimming pools and every other businesses or sport facilities closed for sanitary reasons. Several demonstrations have been held in favour of the reopening, and articles about reopening in Poland sparked debate in Hungary.
Fear regarding the vaccine have also be at the centre of public attention in the past weeks. The Hungarian government made it clear already that different rights would be conferred to those who get inoculated, increasing concern amongst a significant part of the population.
Since then, the anger of many citizens, both owners and users of the places now closed since early November 2020, has started to become a national hot topic that lead to the government’s response, that is the usual national consultation, aiming to provide the government with a democratic legitimacy while introducing new measures in order to solve current issues.
The consultation is introduced by the following commentary:
“Hungary has been fighting against the coronavirus for months. The pandemic is not over just yet, and it’s causing all of us plenty of difficulties. With the start of the vaccination campaign, however, we have entered a new phase. There are some who believe that with vaccinations now underway, the lifting of restrictions can begin. Others say we should proceed with caution, as the pandemic is once again on the rise in Europe.”
Then, the 7 questions of the consultation are the following:
1. According to some, epidemiological restrictive measures can be lifted gradually, step by step. Others believe that these restrictions should only be lifted at the end of the pandemic. What do you think?
Restrictions must be lifted gradually, step by step.
Restrictions must be lifted in one step, at the end of the pandemic.
2. Those who have been vaccinated or have recovered from the disease will receive an immunity passport. There are some who support the idea that people with such passports should be exempted from certain restrictive measures. What do you think about this?
I support it.
I don’t support it.
3. According to some, as soon as the epidemiological situation permits, the 8 p.m. curfew should be one of the first measures eased. Do you agree with this?
4. According to some, as soon as the epidemiological situation permits, and alongside strict safety rules, the reopening of restaurants and hotels should be among the first steps taken. Do you agree with this?
5. According to some, as soon as the epidemiological situation permits, and alongside strict safety rules, the reopening of sports facilities (e.g., swimming pools, gyms, fitness centers) should be one of the first steps taken. Do you agree with this?
6. There are some who believe that attending events, concerts, festivals and sporting events should be permitted for those with immunity passports. Others believe that such events should not be organized or permitted for anyone to attend until the end of the pandemic. What do you think?
Immunity passport holders should be permitted to attend these events.
These events must not be permitted for anyone to attend until the end of the pandemic.
7. Some suggest that until the end of the pandemic, only foreigners who have been vaccinated or hold an immunity passport should be allowed to enter the territory of Hungary. Do you agree with this?
A short registration (asking for name, phone number, and email address, as well as being a Hungarian citizen) is required to answer the questions which are accessible by a link sent by mail. The consultation can be sent back only if all the questions are answered.
Translation of the questions from Hungarian to English: About Today