Stricter mandatory mask regulations were introduced by the Hungarian Government on September 21, 2020 in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Pursuant to these changes, individuals are required to wear mask in the following situations:
- on public transit (this includes terminals, stations, and individual stops);
- in shops (excluding restaurants);
- in shopping centers (excluding offices, restaurants, maintenance areas, and locations designated for sports activities);
- in performing arts centers, cinemas, theaters, and cinemas (this does not apply to the performers);
- in museums, archives, and libraries;
- in areas accessible to the public in post offices, and organizations which provide individuals with public services, and administrative locations in which more than five individuals can be present at the same time;
- in all medical institutions and elder care, as well as hospice care facilities.
A primary change to note is that – moving forward, only medical grade, PPE, and similar textile face masks can be used, and must cover both the mouth and nose. Scarves or other clothing items will no longer be an accepted substitute for a face mask defined above.
There will also be stricter regulation to ensure compliance with these new rules, which will include more police oversight. Any person found to violate the new regulations will face harsher penalties, including, but not limited to:
- as it relates to public transit:
- initial violations will result in a fine; and
- in case of continued non-compliance (or refusing to leave the vehicle voluntarily) the violator will be removed from the vehicle. Further, drivers are required to notify the police, after which the individual will face misdemeanor charges for interfering with the operation of public works.
- as to other locations:
- initial violations will result in a written or verbal warning; and
- in case of continued non-compliance (or refusing to voluntarily leave the area) the violator will be removed from the area by authorities.
Business owners, operators, and service providers are liable for the for the enforcement of mask usage. Should there be a failure in following these guidelines and guests, patrons, and/or audiences are found to be in violation of the new regulations, business owners, operators, and/or service providers may be fined up to HUF 1,000,000 and have their establishment closed for up to one year.