18/03/2020 18:29

Conflicting Government Announcements on Closure of Budapest Airport

Conflicting Government Announcements on Closure of Budapest Airport
On Monday, I asked the government how it was possible for people from infected countries like France or Spain to easily enter Hungary without control.
In his reply, Minister István Nagy stated that Ferenc Liszt International Airport will be closed from midnight on March 17, and confirmed this statement several times.
On Monday evening, State Secretary  Zoltán Kovács already contradicted the minister's words, stating that they would not close the airport. Foreigners can still leave the country, but only Hungarians can enter.
By Tuesday morning, it turned out this information was inaccurate, too, as the partner or relative of a Hungarian traveller who was not a Hungarian citizen could enter Hungary as well.
The government gave 3 different pieces of contradictory information about the closure of the airport within 24 hours. It is not the first time since the announcement of the emergency situation that Hungarian families have been informed with inaccurate and contradictory information. This is unacceptable when accurate, credible, and prompt information is the most effective weapon in dealing with a pandemic!
Unfortunately, the government is still unwilling to extend the testing of Hungarians returning from abroad, so they do not test arrivals from France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland or Austria. There is an urgent need to step up controls, since by now, all EU Member States have found infected people on their territories.
This extension is in everyone’s interest today!
Considering the above, we still expect answers to the following questions:
Why not extend the scope of pre-defined countries to all EU Member States?
Are all Hungarian nationals coming from other severely infected countries checked in addition to those already identified?
Are mixed-citizen families treated with the same requirements for family members during screenings or quarantine?
Overall, why are there still no official screenings introduced at the airport?
We have sent our questions to the Operative Board and expect them to respond at today's press conference on Tuesday.
Ágnes Kunhalmi
Member of Parliament