Photo credit: Pixabay / CC0 Public Domain

The Hungarian Prime Minister says some lockdown restrictions will be lifted on Wednesday after more than a quarter of the population was vaccinated with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

In a video on Facebook Tuesday, Viktor Orban said a vaccination benchmark of 2.5 million initial shots had been hit, a condition for a gradual reopening to begin that will ease several pandemic restrictions.

“Today we reached an important milestone,” said Orban. “The virus has waged a war against us and the only weapon that promises victory is the vaccine.”

The decision to relax restrictions comes as Hungary grapples with a devastating surge in the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Johns Hopkins University, it has one of the highest infection rates in Europe in recent weeks and the third worst death rate per 1 million people in the world.

Starting Wednesday, businesses and services that have been closed since March 8 can reopen if capacity limits are enforced and social distancing is observed. The mandatory closing time for shops will be extended from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and the start of an overnight curfew, which has been in effect since November, will be extended by two hours to 10:00 p.m.

With less than 10 million inhabitants, Hungary has the second highest vaccination rate in the European Union due to a procurement strategy that sought shocks from China and Russia in addition to those that got through the EU.

“Hungary can and will be the European country where everyone can get a vaccine the fastest,” Orban said.

Follow the latest news on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

© 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in any way without permission.

Quote: Hungary to facilitate lockdown after reaching the vaccination milestone (2021, April 6), accessed on April 6, 2021 from

This document is subject to copyright. Except for fair trade for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.