The differences in Europe are serious. At least five countries have lifted the restrictions on fundamental rights either de jure or at least defacto, namely Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. In addition, there are countries like Belarus, which refused to participate from the beginning, and some smaller countries in the Balkans.
This can be seen quite clearly in the Stringency Index.
A visitor who knows Romania very well summed it up like this:
“Zero measures in Romania. Restaurants and bars are full, no mask requirement, no one asks for a vaccination certificate and such bullshit. Vaccination rate remains at 27% for weeks. No tests at work or school, no compulsory vaccination for the medics.”
The vaccination rate has actually been steady at 27% for some time.
The declining interest in vaccination in Romania is due to the long-standing mistrust of the authorities as well as scepticism about vaccines. According to researchers at Babes-Bolyai University, Romania ranked first in the EU in lifting restrictions and “relaxation measures” but second to last in vaccination rates. However, the measures have been applied very loosely for a long time.
Romania, by the way, is a beautiful holiday destination. There are the resorts on the Black Sea, the impressive Danube delta, the Carpathians for hiking. And it’s also a worthwhile destination in winter thanks to a number of attractive ski resorts – Romania instead of unfriendly and depressing Austria is certainly worth considering.
Freedom in Hungary
Hungary is even below Romania in the Stringency Index. I was recently able to see this for myself. There is exactly nobody at the Hungarian border. The only restriction is the 50 kmh limit. Only when entering Austria you have to show at least a test.
Restaurants and cafés are open, nobody wears a mask, I didn’t notice any distance. At the playground, the little ones literally fell over each other, as kids like to do. Compared to Austria, I found the atmosphere really relaxing. Even a dentist couldn’t spoil the relaxation, normality and friendliness are now so unusual compared to the mask madness in our country and the oppressive decrees that change daily.
Last year there was outrage about the measures in Hungary and the fact that the government had been given very far-reaching powers by parliament. Compared to Austria and Germany, however, Hungary is now a flawless democracy.