On the 10th November 2020, the Hungarian Parliament has decided to prolong the duration of the temporary restrictions imposed on the 4th November, and has also authorised the Government to prolong the effect of its former decrees.
Our article has been amended with fresh news as of the 12th November!
Between 20:00 and 05:00.
Are there any exceptions?
Yes there are! Below we have summarised the reasons for which you may leave your home even during the curfew.
- During the curfew, only those working or traveling to- or from work may use public areas.
- Dog owners may leave their homes for walking their dogs, even during the curfew. It is important to note however that even for walking the dog, one must remain within 500 meters of home. Opening hours of the dog parks shall be decided by local authorities.
- Competitive sport is another valid reason for leaving one’s home during practice and the time it takes to travel there.
- People may leave their homes in time of serious risk of damages to health, lives or serious damages, and also if one’s life is in danger. Examples include dangerous illness, fires or helping those caught in such dangers.
§ Did you know? You are required to verify with proper documents if you are leaving your home during curfew either for work or for competitive sports reasons. Those who are unable to verify the purpose of walking the streets during the curfew may be prosecuted either for infraction or for criminal activity. The primary sanction is expecte to be a serious fine.
§ Did you know? A Hungarian employment certificate sample document is available here.
How can I verify that I live in a leased apartment?
In the event that you live in a leased apartment and the address of the apartment is not indicated as place of residence on your address card, it may be quite difficult to prove your trip home is justified.
In such a case it may be a good idea to bring with you a copy of the lease agreement. It is also recommended to sign a separate certificate or agreement with the lessor, in which the valid and effective lease agreement is attested by the parties. It is also recommended to have 2 witnesses attest the signatures on the certificate.
2- General prohibition on events
Starting from midnight, 10th November 2020.
What does it mean?
It is strictly forbidden to organize or participate in any demonstrations, rallies or any events. The organizing and participation on family or friends’ events is also prohibited!
Are there any exceptions?
Weddings may still take place, with the registrar, the priest, the marriage celebrant, the wedding couple, the witnesses, the couple’s parents and grandparents, the couple’s siblings and children as attendees. Funerals may also take place with a maximum of 50 attendees.
Friends’ gatherings with a maximum of 10 people are also exempt from the prohibition, provided the gathering takes place on private property. It is important to travel separately however, as gatherings on the streets is prohibited.
What are the sanctions if someone doesen’t comply with the prohibition?
Anyone who doesen’t comply with the prohibition on events shall face the same sanctions as those who break the rules of the curfew: they shall be prosecuted either for infraction or for criminal activity.
What about sports?
Sport events are also subject to the general prohibition. All amateur team sport events are prohibited, therefore no practices or games may take place. Furthermore – according to the opinion of our Office – sport events with the participation of friends are also subject to the prohibition, as these events generally also take place in sports centres or other public areas.
Anyone is considered to be participating on a competitive sports event who attends an event organized by the sports federation, and also those who are registered as either professional or amateur sportsman/sportswoman in the federation’s competitive sports system. Therefore, participation on the practices or events organized by the sports federation – and its member organizations – is still permitted!
In our point of view, the prohibition only extends to hobby or amateur sports events, team sport events and indoor private sporting. The difference between the prohibited and permitted events or practices depends whether the individual is preparing for a competitive sports event or not. For example: private workout for weight loss is prohibited, whereas practice for a competitive sports event is still permitted.
Moreover, it must be pointed out that according to the authorities’ previous publications, amateur team sports may not be performed during the curfew (e.g. basketball, volleyball, football, etc.) However – at the time of writing present article – such prohibition is not expressly ruled by any law, therefore our above opinion may still be applied to such sports.
The spotlight is also on the personal trainers and those seeking such services. Anyone partaking in or practicing for competitive sports events may still continue personal training. It is unclear though whether personal training for hobby – or personal health – reasons is permitted or not. The goal of the effective government decree is to prevent the spread of the corona virus. Therefore, in our point of view, personal training – with the exception of competitive reasons – is still prohibited.
Restaurants and other hobby facilities
Similarly to the regulations enacted during the spring, restaurants may only serve home delivery orders. Other facilities – such as sport centres, gyms, cinemas, theaters and other – must also be closed. Failure to comply with these rules shall result in the prosecution of the operators.
Family events and friends’ gatherings in restaurants or other facilities is also prohibited.
Under 14 years of age, the general rules of education remain in effect.
From the 8th year of education and above – including Universities – only online classes may be held.
3- Governmental support measures
The government is planning certain supportive measures that will aim to help both natural persons and companies to battle the economic backlashes of the restrictions. The exact rules of these measures are coming soon in our future articles!
A) Loan moratorium
Up until the 30th June 2021.
What does it mean?
According to the recent public version of Act 107 of 2020, a loan moratorium shall be imposed until the 30th June 2021. Up until the above date, the financial institution may not terminate the loan – or mortgage – agreement for the reason of default in payment.
People registered as job seekers, as well as expecting mothes, parents with underage children, pensioners and public employees shall benefit from automatic payment moratorium as well.
Any legal entity, private companies or sole proprietors who face financial difficulties, may apply for contract modification to the financial institute to be a subject to payment moratorium.
- Did you know? The parties – that is the financial institute and the debtor – are under legal obligation to cooperate in order to find a solution for the financial difficulties of the debtor.
B) Tax discounts
Certain taxpayers listed in the government decree shall be exempted from paying social contribution and professional support contribution. Companies paying their taxes under the KIVA (small companies’ tax) shall lower the base of their taxes by the amount paid to their employees.
C) Hotels and other accomodation services
Hotels and other accomodation enterprises are entitled to support based on their losses resulting from cancelled bookings by tourists, provided they meet certain requirements. Moreover, certain activities listed in the government decree shall receive further support for labour costs.
D) Working from home
The employer may pay part of the expenses of long-distance work for its employees. A maximum of 16.100,- HUF per month may be paid for by the employer without verification of the actual costs, provided that the employees themselves do not account for such expenses (e.g. internet network, lease fee of other office, heating, lighting, utility costs, etc.)
It is also important to note that in case of long-distance work, the employer has to inform the employees about safe work conditions. Still, it is the employees themselves who need to make sure that the conditions of their home meet the safety requirements.
Disclaimer: At the time of writing present article, the Hungarian Parliament has not yet accepted or imposed any of the restrictions in present article, therefore all information herein is based solely on news and previous laws and regulations. We shall constantly update present article in light of any news!
Should you require legal help during the coronavirus pandemic, Our Office is at your service! In case you need professional legal help on the fields of labour law, claims, lease agreements or other matters, feel free to contact us!