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New boats for Balaton, Hévíz reopens and indoor dining now permitted

Writers

  • Zoltán Molnár

5/22/2020 3:04 PM

With cafés and restaurants allowed to serve customers indoors and Hévíz welcoming bathers, shutdown restrictions are being slowly lifted around Lake Balaton. Even new boats are being launched! See more details below:

Dining

In a ruling just announced by Gergely Gulyás, Head of the Prime Minister’s Office, following on from the opening of terraces, restaurants and cafés around Balaton may now also serve guests indoors. Masks must be worn, except while consuming food and drink, and tables will be kept a certain distance apart.

Hotels

Photo: Heim Alexandra - We Love Balaton

From Monday, 25 May, some hotels and guesthouses may start to welcome visitors once more. From Friday 22 May, most Balatontourist establishments are open. In principle, and for the time being, guests from Budapest and Pest County may not be registered, although restrictions have since loosened for the latter.


Hotels on the south coast would like to open for the Whitsun weekend of 30 May-1 June, with tables apart in restaurants and no buffet spreads, of course. Those in the trade are anxiously waiting for virus figures to decrease in Budapest, where most of their custom comes from.

Baths & beaches

Photo: Hirling Bálint - We Love Balaton

According to the Hungarian Baths Association, the general restrictions will be in place until summer 2021. Until then, they will probably be welcoming half as many guests and operating costs will be higher.


Hévíz Baths have already reopened, with hundreds coming that first weekend. Private accommodation is also coming back to life, welcoming domestic guests.


Beaches with social distancing is another fact of life, again, with lower revenues. Playgrounds and parks will also soon be open.

Ferries

Photo: MTÜ

Finally, Balaton ferry company Bahart is offering an adapted service between Szántód and Tihany through most of May. The design for its new ships on the route for 2021 has just been published, barrier-free, bicycle-friendly and air-conditioned. New catamarans will also serve Siófok, Keszthely and Balatonfüred.

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