With the new rules taking effect from Monday, the second phase of the epidemic containment effort will begin in which life will be resumed gradually, according to strict rules and a strict timetable, a staff member of the duty centre of the Operational Group responsible for the containment of the coronavirus epidemic said at an online press conference held on Thursday.

Róbert Kiss also said, due to the territorial differences of the epidemic, different rules will apply to the countryside and to Budapest.

He highlighted that the government decree which includes – with regard to the upcoming final examinations – the fulfilment of study-related obligations and the fulfilment of examination obligations arising from the conclusion of studies as essential reasons in the context of the restrictions on movement has taken effect.

He said the number of criminal procedures instituted in connection with the epidemic had risen to 304, including 80 due to scaremongering, 26 due to the threat of public endangerment, 92 due to fraud and 18 due to the violation of disease control regulations. In these procedures, they have questioned 56 suspects so far.

Regarding border traffic, Mr Kiss said in the morning there were one-hour delays in cargo traffic on the entry side at Csanádpalota and Ártánd and on the exit side at Csanádpalota.

He also reported that in the past 24 hours 1,186 compulsory home quarantine orders had been issued; as a result, the number of those in compulsory home quarantine has risen to above 10,000 again. In the past 24 hours, the police have experienced violations in connection with compulsory home quarantine in 19 instances. The police have checked persons in compulsory home quarantine since 12 March; so far, they have taken action against those violating the rules in 1,333 instances in total, Mr Kiss said.

He highlighted that in the past 24 hours the police had taken action in connection with the restrictions on movement in 1,075 instances, including 448 cautions, 296 onsite fines and 331 prosecutions. The police have so far taken action in connection with the restrictions on movement in 39,619 instances.

In answer to a journalist’s question concerning the long, three-day weekend during which picnicking people could flood larger parks, he said until 3 May the police will monitor the observance of the restrictions on movement according to the original protocol. People are still only allowed to leave their homes for essential reasons, he pointed out, adding that during the weekend ahead local governments can introduce more stringent rules in local ordinances.

In answer to the question that some district mayors are planning to introduce various traffic restrictions, he said local governments may decide on the restriction of traffic on public roads coming under their jurisdiction within their own competence.

In response to the enquiry as to whether the police are not concerned that masses could set out from the capital for the countryside, he reminded residents of the capital that in Budapest the rules of conduct relating to the restrictions on movement will remain in effect also beyond 3 May. As a result, Budapest residents can only leave their homes for essential reasons, Mr Kiss said.