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Fines for improper mask wearing in Budapest public transport

Fines for improper mask wearing in Budapest public transport

The recent surge in corona cases and carefree passenger behaviour necessitate tightened measures

Due to the increase of Covid-19 infections in Hungary in recent weeks and nonchalance on the part of some passengers regarding travel safety, Budapest Transport Centre (BKK) has introduced stricter control in the capital’s public transport.  From Thursday, BKK inspectors are watching out not only for passengers who travel without face masks, but for people who wear their masks improperly. Violations carry a fine of 8000 HUF (EUR 22) and that amount could double, and with the help of police, rulebreakers will be removed from the vehicle. 

To curb the spread of the coronavirus, mandatory mask wearing when using public transport was introduced in Budapest on 27 April. Initially, almost 100 percent of passengers complied with the rules but by the second half of the summer the number of responsible travellers fell to about 85 percent, a BKK survey showed. The remaining 15 percent and the surge in new cases tipped the scales in favour of tightening the measures.

From next Tuesday, MÁV (Hungarian railways) will follow suit and ticket inspectors will be empowered to drop passengers without masks off trains. The public transport providers of the capital have sped up the disinfection of vehicles, their air-conditioning equipment, metro stations and ticket machines.  

Infections on the rise

According to data quoted by MTI, 476 people were diagnosed with the coronavirus on Thursday and two elderly patients with chronic conditions died, bringing the death toll to 630. 10 191 people have been infected since the onset of the pandemic in Hungary and the active cases stand at 5 571. Of them 234 patients are hospitalized and 11 are on ventilators.

Due to the escalating epidemic situation in the country, chief medical officer Cecília Müller has banned visits to all hospitals, public and private. Exempted are the relatives of patients with life-threatening or terminal conditions and one parent per child in hospital care. Violators of the visit ban can be fined from HUF 30,000 to 5 million.



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