Hungary tightens pandemic restrictions amid rising deaths

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Authorities in Hungary are tightening pandemic restrictions in an effort to mitigate a rapid rise in deaths and hospitalizations caused by COVID-19. Businesses will be required to close their doors for two weeks beginning Monday. Only grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations will remain open. Kindergartens and primary schools will also be closed until April 7. The new restrictions come as the number of cases and deaths in Hungary approach their previous peaks set in December. Hungary hopes that a rapid vaccination program will drive numbers down. A government minister said that the country will have the highest vaccination rate in the European Union by next week.