Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Tuesday took to social media to announce a new state of emergency and night-time curfew in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Restaurants and clubs will close, while theatres, cinemas and other event locations will only be allowed to fill a third of the available seats, Orban said in a video posted to Facebook.
“The spread of the pandemic has accelerated,” said Orban. “It is time we took new steps to protect the ability of hospitals to function and the lives of older people.”
A night-time curfew will be in place from midnight to 5 am, he added. Meanwhile, Orban’s government will impose a state of emergency from midnight on Wednesday, allowing it to adopt measures by decree.
It is initially valid for 15 days and can be extended by parliament for a further 90 days.
Orban drew criticism at home and abroad for getting parliament to grant him unlimited special powers at the onset of the pandemic earlier this year.
He relinquished those powers again in June after the first wave of pandemic subsided. Hungary, a country of 10 million people, reported 3,989 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours and 84 related deaths, bringing the total fatalities to 1,973.