Czechia confirmed its first case of coronavirus on March 1, 2020. Within a month cases had risen to over 3,500. In Poland, the government announced on March 15 that it would cancel land and air passenger traffic, becoming one of the first countries in Europe to close its borders. On May 16, 2022, the Ministry of Health decided to end the epidemic state in Poland and transformed it into an epidemiological emergency.
In Romania, the health care system struggled with a shortage of medical supplies to deal with the growing number of cases, putting medical staff at a higher risk of infection. Trust in the country’s Ministry of Health, however, remains higher than many other institutions in Romania. Several measures were implemented to contain the spread of the disease, including suspending travel to and from Italy, where many Romanians reside.
Hungarian authorities announced the first two confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country on March 4, 2020. Since the outbreak of the virus, several preventive and emergency measures have been taken in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 that had infected more than 2.19 million individuals as of January 25, 2023. One of these measures was the introduction of the coronavirus law, enabling the Hungarian prime minister to rule by decree indefinitely. In June 2020, the rule by decree ended and was replaced by a state of medical crisis.
The pandemic is expected to have a major impact on CEE economies. Disruption to supply chains and a decrease in demand for Polish exports negatively impacted GDP growth in Poland. Industries such as the tourism sector in Russia also suffered due to a fall in demand.
For further information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit our dedicated Facts and Figures page.