On 30 August 2020, the decree of the Government on rendering the regulations concerning the crossing of the country’s borders more strict (as announced by the Government already last Thursday) was published in the Hungarian Official Gazette. The decree is effective as of 1 September 2020.
A short summary of the decree’s rules concerning the entry into the territory of Hungary is included hereunder:
Hungarian citizens, when entering Hungary in passenger traffic, may be subject to a medical examination. If such examination reveals the suspicion of infection, the affected person shall be quarantined either at a location designated by the competent authority or in his/her home.
If no such suspicion is revealed by the medical examination, the person shall be quarantined for 14 (fourteen) days either in his/her home or at a location designated by the competent epidemiological authority (if the concerned person has no address of residence in Hungary). Upon the request of the quarantined person, the competent authority authorized to issue the decision ordering the quarantine may allow the concerned person to have SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests performed within 5 (five) days of the entry, two times, with a minimum of 48 hours difference between the performance of the two tests, in order to be discharged from the quarantine. The discharge may be granted if both tests confirmed that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus couldn’t be detected in the person’s body at the time of the performance of the tests.
For the purposes of this decree, the person having a permanent residence permit and his/her relatives, who are able to certify their right to reside in Hungary with documents, the person having a valid permit to reside in the territory of Hungary for more than 90 days and presents this document upon entering the territory of Hungary, or the person, who is a contestant or sports professional of a Hungarian sports organization or a participant of an international sports event held in a foreign country, personally invited or delegated by a Hungarian sports organization, when entering the territory of Hungary after having participated at an international sports event held in a foreign country shall be treated equally with the Hungarian citizens.
As a main rule, according to the decree, non-Hungarian citizens may not enter Hungary in passenger traffic.
However, law enforcement authorities may permit the entry if the requesting person certifies that the aim of the entry is:
- to participate in a court- or other official authority proceedings in Hungary,
- to work or perform other business activities the reasonability of which is certified by an invitation letter sent either by a central governmental body, independent regulatory organ or autonomous state administration body,
- to receive health care,
- to perform scholastic obligations or take an exam,
- to travel in passenger traffic in relation to the provision of freight services,
- to participate at family events (wedding, baptizing, funeral),
- to take care of or nurse a relative,
- to participate at international sports-, cultural- or spiritual events of high priority,
- another acceptable aim.
A person being on a business trip affecting affiliated companies may enter the territory of Hungary regardless of the country of departure; hence, the above restriction does not apply to persons rendering the business-related purpose of their trip likely.
Non-Hungarian citizens shall also tolerate the medical examination when entering the territory of Hungary. If the examination reveals the suspicion of infection, the permit to enter Hungary may be denied. To those non-Hungarian citizens who are permitted to enter Hungary in passenger traffic after the medical examination, the same quarantine- and discharge rules shall apply as to the entering Hungarian citizens (except if the reason for the entry is the participation at a sports event, as a part of a military convoy or commuting (traveling from/to a neighbouring country for the purpose of working).
In respect of the transit traffic across Hungary, the national head of police shall determine and announce on the official website of the police the border-crossings designated to deal with the entering- and exiting transit traffic, the transit routes, the rest areas opened for transit traffic, and the time-frame available for leaving the territory of Hungary (hereinafter referred to as the ‘transit route’).
In the meanwhile, on 1 September 2020, another decree was published, according to which to the Hungarian citizens traveling to the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia and to the citizens of these countries traveling to Hungary, less strict rules shall apply provided that the traveller certifies that he/she booked accommodation in the destination country prior to 1 September already, and:
- Czech, Polish or Slovak citizens have a Hungarian and/or English document demonstrating the result of one SARS-CoV-2 PCR test performed within 5 (five) days of the entry of the territory of Hungary, certifying that the coronavirus couldn’t be detected in the traveller’s body at the time of the performance of the test, or
- a Hungarian citizen returning from the Czech Republic, Poland, or the Slovak Republic has a SARS-CoV-2 PCR test made after his/her arrival in Hungary, and this test certifies that the coronavirus couldn’t be detected in the traveller’s body at the time of the performance of the test.