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Hungary shuts secondary schools, extends curfew as COVID-19 cases rise

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Hungary will close secondary schools, universities and restaurants and extend its night-time curfew from Tuesday to curb a fast rise in coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said.

The premier, who has up to now refrained from imposing tough measures in a bid to protect the economy, said on Monday large gatherings will also be banned and sports events held behind closed doors.

“If coronavirus infections rise at the current pace … Hungarian hospitals will not be able to cope with the burden,” Orban said in a video posted on his Facebook page.

Hungary reported 5,162 new cases and 55 new deaths on Monday, bringing the total to 114,778 infections and 2,493 deaths. Hospitals have already had to reschedule operations to cope with the influx of patients.

The curfew, which currently starts at midnight, will run from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., Orban said. Hotels can receive only business travellers, no tourists.

Attendance at family events will be limited to 10 people and funerals to 50 people. Theatres, cinemas and fitness facilities will be closed.

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