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"Every life counts", Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a radio interview, while also flagging tax cuts next year.

The new restrictions introduced on Tuesday to curb the spread of Covid-19 were “timely” and “precise”, Orbán said, adding that the health-care system was up to the task of ensuring that all Hungarians receive “decent care”. In a step designed to help the hospitality industry, the government will reduce the VAT on takeout meals – the only form of service restaurants are currently allowed to provide – to 5%, Orbán said. The measure is being taken in consultation with the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Trade, he said. Also, the government is committed to “tangible” tax cuts next year, he said, adding that both the central budget local authorities would undertake them. Referring to the new partial lockdown, the prime minister said: “These kinds of decisions have to be made when there is a real danger of paralysis in health care. “He said modelling indicated that in the absence of a curfew and other restrictions, and with the number of doctors and nurses available, “the limit” was “dangerously near”. Currently 6,690 Covid patients are in hospital, 518 on ventilators, he noted.