Travel restrictions in Hungary
As the second wave of the COVID-19 virus approaches, the Hungarian Government has adopted strict measures regarding the entry into Hungary
As of September 1, 2020, Government Decree No. 408/2020 (30 August) on travel restrictions during the period of state of epidemiological preparedness entered into effect.
The legislation covers border crossings with an ordinary passport or other travel document for reasons other than official reasons with respect to both Hungarian and non-Hungarians citizens. The Government Decree also contains provisions for those who must receive the same treatment as Hungarian citizens: non-Hungarian citizens with permanent residence in Hungary, persons holding a valid permit to reside for more than 90 days, certain competitors and sports technicians and persons employed by a Hungarian cultural institution. Further provisions are adopted on travel between affiliated undertakings, cross-border workers, on travel for business or economic purposes and regarding the persons passing through the territory of Hungary.
The scope of this Decree does not cover the persons crossing the border in freight traffic, crossing the border with an official passport, and those who, upon entering the territory of Hungary, provide credible evidence that they have gone through COVID-19 disease within 6 months before the day of presenting themselves at the border. According to this rule, the above persons are free to enter into Hungary without any restrictions.
1. Hungarian citizens and those who receive the same treatment as Hungarian citizens
When entering the territory of Hungary by personal traffic, Hungarian citizens or the family members of a Hungarian citizen not holding Hungarian citizenship arriving from abroad may be subjected to a health screening. If the result of the health screening raises the suspicion of the infection, the person must be placed in a quarantine facility or if doing so does not pose any epidemiological risk, in an official home quarantine.
If the above health screening raises no suspicion of the infection, the Hungarian citizen entering Hungary must be placed
- in official home quarantine for 10 days (previously 14 days), provided that the person has a domicile or place of residence in Hungary,
- in a quarantine facility designated by the competent epidemiological authority for 10 days, in lack of a domicile or place of residence in Hungary,
- in a quarantine facility designated by the competent epidemiological authority or in official home quarantine for 10 days, in lack of a domicile or place of residence in Hungary.
The official home quarantine may be ended earlier by the decision of the competent epidemiological authority if the person, at request, is allowed by the above authority to take part in molecular biological examinations (SARS-CoV-2 PCR test) on two occasions within 5 days, with at least 48 hours passing between the examinations and the results thereof verify that at the time of the examinations, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus could not be detected in the person.
2. Non-Hungarian citizens
The Government Decree states that –with the exceptions – access to the territory of Hungary is denied to persons other than Hungarian citizens arriving from abroad by personal traffic.
The competent local police organ of the location of the planned entry into the territory of Hungary may, upon application, grant permission to enter Hungary. The request may be filed electronically on-line (http://www.police.hu/en/content/equity-request-to-enter-hungary). The permission is most likely granted if the person entering Hungary participates in a court proceeding, receives healthcare services, fulfills a study or examination obligations, travels by personal traffic in connection with work related transportation activities, participates in family events (marriage, baptism, funeral), takes care of a relative, participates in church events of major importance that have international relevance, or any legitimate reason other than those specified above.
If the permission is granted, the applicant may enter Hungary, and is subject to a health screening. Depending on the result, the applicant whose health screening raises the suspicion of the infection must not be granted entry to the territory of Hungary. The person whose health screening raises no suspicion of the infection is to be placed in a quarantine facility or official home quarantine for 10 days. The official home quarantine may be ended earlier with two negative PCR examinations as described above.
3. Travel between affiliated undertakings
A person who is an executive officer or employee of a company registered in Hungary or in any other states that has an affiliated relation with a company registered in at least one other state arriving from abroad may enter, without any restrictions (i.e. without official home quarantine or PCR examinations), the territory of Hungary from the territory of other states. Entry without restrictions may only take place if the person substantiates that the trip is for business reasons (e.g. official company letter, invitation letter, employer certification, company extract etc.).
4. Cross-border workers
Citizens of, and Hungarian citizens living in Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Ukraine and Slovakia are entitled to enter the territory of Hungary to stay within 30 kilometers of the state border for a period of no more than 24 hours. The persons entering in such way, must leave the territory of Hungary within 24 hours. These persons can return, stay 30 kilometers of the state border for another 24 hours repeatedly.
5. Travel for business or economic purposes
A Hungarian citizen may re-enter Hungary without any restrictions (i.e. without official home quarantine or PCR examinations) after having exited it if the objective of exit was an activity for business or economic purposes, provided that sufficient evidence was provided of this fact (e.g. official company letter, documentation, employer certification, invitation letter, company extract etc.).
A non-Hungarian citizen may enter Hungary without any restrictions as well if entering Hungary constitutes an activity for business or economic purposes evidenced as described above.
6. Passing through the territory of Hungary
Persons other than Hungarian citizens arriving from abroad by personal traffic may enter the territory of Hungary for the purpose of transit passage, provided that they agree to undergo health screening upon entry and the health screening does not establish suspicion of the infection.
For further details on the provisions of the passing through and the rules of visiting sports and cultural events, and more on the crossing of the Hungarian state border, please see the text of the Government Decree which is available in English language by clicking on the following link: https://njt.hu/translated/doc/J2020R0408K_20200921_FIN.pdf