Coronavirus: it turned out that the people of Budapest would relax

It seems divisive among the capitals to think about a possible reopening, a deliberate change in epidemic rules: a slight majority on the opening party and a slightly lower proportion of opponents, according to a representative of the Publicus Institute’s European Parliament Committee on Tourism. The terraces of restaurants, on the other hand, would already be opened in some form by three-quarters of those surveyed, while 82 per cent would be open-minded in the case of outdoor spaces.

The Publicus Institute, on behalf of the Head of the European Parliament’s Committee on Tourism, interviewed 1138 people between 26 and 28 January. In opinion polls examined the opinions of the residents of the capital about a possible reopening, a deliberate change in the epidemiological rules.

(Ezen kutatás magyar nyelven itt olvasható)

The survey found that almost all respondents had heard that more and more restaurants, gyms, and places doomed to close due to the epidemic were dissatisfied with the closure and were considering opening it, in fact, some would do so under penalty.

54 percent of those surveyed believe the situation is better now and could start allowing these places to open, adhering to mask-wearing and distance-keeping rules. At the same time, although 45 percent of respondents understand that the situation is causing difficulties for many, they do not think it is time to open up because of the epidemic.

Breaking line between ages

While the younger age groups would relax the rules, the majority of the older ones are more in favor of full closure. According to 68 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29, and 72 percent of those between the ages of 30 and 44, opening the aforementioned places should now be allowed, subject to mask wearing and keeping rules.

Every second between the ages of 45 and 59 (51 per cent) and six out of ten (62 per cent) are over the age of 60, although they understand that many people have difficulty with the situation, but the time has not yet come to open. Similarly, while 63 percent of the active age group are in favor of opening, 62 percent of retirees still support closing.

60 per cent of graduates and 63 per cent of skilled workers believe that the situation is now better and could start allowing these places to be opened in compliance with various anti-epidemic rules. Half of graduates (48 per cent) and a majority of up to 8 general graduates (55 per cent) say the time has not yet come to relax the strict rules.

Where should it open?

In the case of restaurants and terraces, according to almost a quarter of the respondents (23 percent), it is not yet time to open and relax the rules, but three-quarters (75 percent) are already on the side of opening in some form.

Two out of ten respondents (20 per cent) said the correct procedure for opening restaurants would be to open the terraces. Thirty-six percent of those surveyed believe that either a maximum capacity of one-third (18 percent) or a maximum capacity of 50 percent (18 percent) could already be used to open enclosed spaces (subject to mask wearing and distance rules).

Those who say that closed spaces could be opened at essentially full capacity while complying with anti-epidemic rules account for nearly a fifth of those surveyed.

In the case of outdoor venues such as a skating rink, zoo or game park, 82 per cent of those surveyed are on the party of considered opening, with only 17 per cent considering the total closure currently in place to be justified. Of course, the opening can only be imagined by following the rules of mask wearing and keeping away.

Translated by:


The survey-based study was run by Publicus Institute, consulting 1138 individuals on the phone, who are representative of the adult population of Budapest, between the 26th and the 28th of January 2021. The potential distortions of sampling were corrected with weighting based on the data from the 2016 KSH census. The attributes of the surveyed, their sex, age, educational attainment, regional and settlement wise composition accurately resemble those of the Hungarian population. With this sample size, we can state with a 95 percent confidence level that the data attained through testing would only differ by +/-3.0 percent at most from that we would have gotten when surveying all 18 year old or older residents. The statistical error is larger however, when the distribution is configured not to all surveyed, but to the smaller subgroups present.