Altogether 502 Hungarians returned home late on Monday in four buses and 150 cars from quarantined localities in Austria’s Tyrol region, Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister, said. Five localities in Tyrol in Austria had been under quarantine for two weeks from March 13. The Hungarians there had been working when the areas were placed under quarantine. Szijjártó noted that the quarantine order scheduled to expire on March 28 had been extended to April 13, but exceptions were made for foreign nationals under strict conditions. They must stay in home quarantine for the next two weeks, he said. “But the most important thing is they are now home,” he added.
Meanwhile, two aircraft bringing home 257 Hungarians who were unable to return to Hungary from the US and Canada have taken off, Szijjártó said. He noted that more than 5,500 Hungarians have been transported back so far as part of the “biggest homecoming scheme mounted in Hungarian history”. Two aircraft set off early on Tuesday for the hundreds of Hungarians stuck in North America, he said. People from five cities will be collected and the two aircraft will fly some 40,000kms, he added.
In addition to the 257 Hungarians who have asked for help in Canada and the US, eighteen Slovak citizens will also be transported home under the arrangements of central European and Visegrad Group cooperation, he said. One of the aircraft will even land in Toronto to pick up a consignment of 4,000 masks donated to Hungarian health-care staff, he added. The two aircraft are scheduled to land in Budapest on April 2. Work is continuing to bring home thousands of Hungarians who are still stranded around the world, Szijjártó said.