Government – News

by Kevin | Last Updated: April 10, 2020


Ever more people are violating the measures related to restrictions on movement, and ever more criminal procedures are being instituted, a staff member of the duty centre of the Operational Group responsible for the containment of the coronavirus epidemic said at an online press conference held on Wednesday.

Lt. Colonel Róbert Kiss said the number of infringements related to restrictions on movement is on the rise. To date, police officers have taken action against those violating restrictions on movement in 5,918 instances; 4,008 persons have been cautioned, onsite fines have been imposed in 857 cases, and 1,053 persons have been prosecuted. Compared with Tuesday, the number of infringements has risen by 800, the Lt. Colonel observed.

He added that there was a similar trend in Budapest as well where in one day the number of prosecutions has risen by 357, the number of cautions by 299 and the number of onsite fines by 23.

In answer to the question as to what one can do if one’s neighbour holds a gathering, he said, due to the restrictions movement, people can only leave their homes for essential reasons. Attending a party is not an essential reason, and so he asked anyone who observes such gatherings to call the 112 emergency number, and the police will take the necessary measures.

In answer to another question regarding the fact that “pub yards” have developed in front of some stores selling alcohol, he drew attention to the fact that the majority of local governments banned the consumption of alcohol on public premises, and so this would constitute an infringement even under the normal rules. He added that anyone observing such scenes should call the 112 emergency number, and the police will take action due to the violation of the ban on the consumption of alcohol on public premises and the rules of the restrictions on movement.

Regarding arrangements for the visitation rights of divorced parents, he said the government decree does not regulate this aspect; they recommend that parents should consult with respect to the method of communication.

He also highlighted that ever more persons are violating the rules of compulsory home quarantine as well. At present, there are 15,401 compulsory home quarantine orders in effect. Violators have been prosecuted in 507 instances, onsite fines have been imposed in 416 cases, and 66 persons have been cautioned. He repeatedly asked people to observe the rules of conduct.

Checks related to the restricted opening hours of retail outlets are also under way; so far, 68 persons have been prosecuted, onsite fines have been imposed in 34 cases, and 51 persons have been cautioned, he said.

Additionally, the number of criminal procedures is also on the rise. To date, 183 criminal procedures have been instituted, including 51 due to scaremongering, 25 due to the threat of public danger, 44 due to fraud and 12 due to the violation of disease control regulations. So far, the police have interrogated forty persons as suspects, Mr Kiss highlighted.

In answer to a question, he said even in peace time scaremongering qualifies as a dangerous crime, while in a state of danger it carries even heavier penalties. He said a person who publishes an untrue fact or piece of information which creates a false illusion in members of the pubic, and makes harder or attempts to foil the efforts of the authorities in a state of danger commits an act of scaremongering.

He also said, based on the information of the National Office for Investigations of the Rapid Reaction Police, on Tuesday, staff members of the Budapest Police Constabulary apprehended four persons who produced fake disinfectants; the damage caused amounts to HUF 23 million.

In answer to a question, the Lt. Colonel said, during a special legal rule, crimes committed against property such as theft, fraud and misappropriation pose an especially great risk to society, and so those committing such crimes are penalised more stringently.

He pointed out in answer to another question that the presence of hospital commanders in 108 institutions is a guarantee in itself that the supplies necessary for the containment effort are being stocked according to a stringent protocol. If any related crime comes to light, hospital commanders are required to take action ex officio.

He further said there are some delays in cargo traffic on the entry side at Röszke and at the exit side in Ártánd. In answer to a question, he said, in international cargo traffic, after border controls at the border crossing station, the police stick a yellow warning “transit sticker” onto the windscreens of vehicles. At the same time, they hand over a map to drivers listing the rest areas available on humanitarian corridors. This map can also be found on the website of the police.

Mr Kiss reported that on Tuesday five cargo planes had arrived in Budapest, carrying significant quantities of protective supplies, including gowns and face masks. The Operational Group is providing for their warehousing, guarding and delivery.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)


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