A week has passed since the government introduced border protection measures and the country once again closed its borders to foreigners (with certain exceptions) due to the coronavirus. Since then, however, Hungary has announced more exceptions, such as Czech, Polish, and Slovak citizens, business travelers, and foreign audiences of sports and cultural events. We have collected the latest information on the entry requirements.
Currently, 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.
Foreigners are not allowed to enter the country, only with certain exceptions and the exception of Czech, Polish, and Slovak citizens who have booked accommodation in Hungary before September 1st and who produce one negative test within five days of their arrival to Hungary. On Friday, the government announced that it has decided to exempt business trips as well from travel restrictions to ensure the continuity of Hungarian economy.
Furthermore, foreign spectators of sports and cultural events will now be allowed to enter the country if they provide a negative test and undergo a health check upon entering. They are obliged to leave the country within three days after entering.
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 healthcare, 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.
Since Friday, coronavirus tests carried out in EU member states within the Schengen area, in the United States, or in Canada and are available in either English or Hungarian are now considered equivalent to tests conducted in Hungary, and accepted upon arrival to the country and exempts travelers from the mandatory quarantine.
featured photo: Tamás Vasvári/MTI