The omicron variant causes milder symptoms than delta, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protect yourself, Viktor Orbán said on Kossuth Rádió “Good Morning, Hungary!” program yesterday. The Prime Minister gave his regular Friday morning interview to discuss the government’s measures against the pandemic and its new policy for fixing prices on six consumer food products.
The vaccine provides protection against both coronavirus variants, he said, noting that Hungarians will be able to get vaccinated at designated locations on Thursdays, Fridays, or Saturdays in January without having to make an appointment. The Prime Minister asked parents to consider having their children get vaccinated as well.
He spoke about coronavirus measures that were announced on Thursday, such as the quarantine period being shortened to seven days due to the milder effects of omicron, or just five days after a negative test. In addition, valid vaccine cards will only be issued to those who have had three shots, or have received their second shot in the last six months.
A fourth shot will only be permitted at least four months after the third, he said. It will be recommended for the general public after six months, but Hungarians should consult their doctors first before they get it.
“Our hospital capacity is fantastic, especially our human capacity,” claimed the Prime Minister, although during the hardest weeks of previous waves the country experienced a shortage of properly-trained specialists.
Stores will be fined if they don’t carry products under the new policy
On the topic of the recently-announced price freeze for six consumer food products, Orbán said there would be no need to worry about shortages, because retailers will be inspected and fined if they do not have a sufficient supply of these goods for sale.
As to whether the price freeze policy would later apply to other products beyond those currently announced, the Prime Minister said it was not in the business of telling the future, but thought that these six products would likely be enough.
The political opposition has recommending lowering VAT as a further measure, as countries like Poland have already done, but Orbán noted that the VAT on basic foodstuffs had already been reduced to 5%.
He also responded to a statement by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, who claimed that the government’s proposed referendum on child protection issues would entrench prejudices and incite hatred. Viktor Orbán responded to this by saying that the Commissioner for Human Rights was a “Sorosist.”