News News from Hungary Coro­n­avirus Entry Ban from Sep­tem­ber 1st: Details and Exceptions

Coro­n­avirus Entry Ban from Sep­tem­ber 1st: Details and Exceptions

Last week, the Hun­gar­i­an gov­ern­ment announced that the coun­try is clos­ing its bor­ders to for­eign­ers start­ing on Sep­tem­ber 1st, re-intro­duc­ing the bor­der pro­tec­tion mea­sures in force dur­ing the first wave of the coro­n­avirus epi­dem­ic. The gov­ern­ment decree, issued by the prime min­is­ter, has been pub­lished in the offi­cial gazette Mag­yar Közlöny on Sun­day with the details of entry ban as well as the exceptions.

The ban, tak­ing effect on Sep­tem­ber 1st to con­tain the spread of the coro­n­avirus, was announced on Fri­day. Accord­ing to the gov­ern­ment decree, for­eign cit­i­zens will be barred from enter­ing Hun­gary, with a few excep­tions, while Hun­gar­i­ans return­ing from abroad will have to self-quar­an­tine for 14 days, or until they pro­duce two neg­a­tive tests tak­en two days apart. For­eign nation­als with per­ma­nent Hun­gar­i­an res­i­den­cy (and their close fam­i­ly mem­bers) as well as those who hold a per­mit of stay for more than 90 days are treat­ed the same way as Hun­gar­i­an citizens.

Fan­ni Kaszás 2020.08.31.

Some for­eign­ers can apply for a per­mit to enter the coun­try through the Hun­gar­i­an police. Excep­tions to the ban are made for for­eign­ers on offi­cial busi­ness involv­ing state orga­ni­za­tions, those cer­ti­fied to receive health care, stu­dents with proof of stu­dent sta­tus, lor­ry dri­vers return­ing home, vis­i­tors tak­ing part in fam­i­ly events such as wed­dings, and par­tic­i­pants of inter­na­tion­al sport­ing, cul­tur­al, or reli­gious events.

The appli­ca­tion for a per­mit to enter the coun­try must be sub­mit­ted elec­tron­i­cal­ly in advance by non-Hun­gar­i­an cit­i­zens, in Eng­lish or through a legal rep­re­sen­ta­tive. If a for­eign nation­al is sus­pect­ed of being infect­ed, they can­not enter the coun­try. Oth­er­wise, for­eign­ers whose appli­ca­tions for entry are approved must go into a manda­to­ry 14-day quar­an­tine that may be lift­ed only after two neg­a­tive COVID-19 tests tak­en at least 48 hours apart.

The decree allows for the unre­strict­ed entry by for­eign exec­u­tives or employ­ees of Hun­gar­i­an com­pa­nies as well as of for­eign com­pa­nies reg­is­tered in cer­tain des­ig­nat­ed coun­tries. A sep­a­rate decree issued by the inte­ri­or min­is­ter has spec­i­fied those des­ig­nat­ed coun­tries to be “any coun­try”. Tran­sit traf­fic, mil­i­tary con­voys, and human­i­tar­i­an trav­el are also exempt­ed, as well as offi­cial vis­i­tors or any­one who can prove that they have recov­ered from COVID-19 in the last six months.

For­eign ath­letes com­ing to attend domes­tic sports event can enter if they present two neg­a­tive tests in Hun­gar­i­an or Eng­lish from the pre­vi­ous 5 days at least 48 hours apart. How­ev­er, fol­low­ing UEFA pro­to­col, for­eign ath­letes can also enter with only one test car­ried out in the last 3 days. A Hun­gar­i­an ath­lete return­ing from abroad will be exempt­ed from quar­an­tine after two tests, 24 hours apart. Until then, they can “trav­el in the form pro­vid­ed by the sports orga­ni­za­tion” between their home and the place of sports activ­i­ties dur­ing the offi­cial home quar­an­tine. As there is no restric­tion that this rule only applies to indi­vid­ual ath­letes, accord­ing to the new rules a team ath­lete who has not yet had a proven neg­a­tive test may go to train­ing as well.

For­eign com­muters resid­ing no more than 30 km from the Hun­gar­i­an bor­der are allowed entry into the coun­try for peri­ods of no more than 24 hours. Hun­gar­i­ans who trav­el less than 30 km from the bor­der into neigh­bor­ing coun­tries and return with­in a 24-hour peri­od can re-enter Hun­gary with­out restrictions.

For­eign trav­el­ers in tran­sit are also allowed entry into the coun­try if they can cer­ti­fy their des­ti­na­tion and rea­son for trav­el. They must remain on des­ig­nat­ed trav­el routes and must leave the coun­try with­in 24 hours. The decree stip­u­lates that Hun­gar­i­ans return­ing from abroad must also go into a manda­to­ry 14-day quar­an­tine. The quar­an­tine may be lift­ed only after the indi­vid­ual pro­duces two neg­a­tive COVID-19 tests tak­en at least 48 hours apart.

Hun­gar­i­an cit­i­zens or their for­eign fam­i­ly mem­bers may be required to under­go a med­ical exam­i­na­tion when they return home, and if they are sus­pect­ed of being infect­ed, they will be quar­an­tined at home or in a hos­pi­tal. How­ev­er, con­trary to the pre­vi­ous rules, even if they are not sus­pect­ed of infec­tion, they will still have enter quar­an­tine for 14 days no mat­ter their coun­try of ori­gin. The quar­an­tine require­ment will be lift­ed if two neg­a­tive tests are car­ried out 48 hours apart.

How­ev­er, Min­is­ter Gerge­ly Gulyás remind­ed every­one last week that in this case a test tak­en from abroad will not be accept­ed.

The reg­u­la­tion also stip­u­lates that per­sons com­ing in con­tact with an infect­ed indi­vid­ual who have been quar­an­tined by the author­i­ties may be exempt­ed after two neg­a­tive tests. How­ev­er, the first test can only be car­ried out at least four days after con­tact with the infect­ed person.

fea­tured pho­to: Györ­gy Varga

Source: MTI / hun​gary​to​day​.hu