While it was previously announced for June 15, the update of the Hungarian digital immunity certificate application will only be introduced on June 30. In order to meet the requirements of the European Union’s Digital COVID Certificate on time, Hungarian immunity applications will show the type of vaccine used and the dates of both vaccinations. Those wishing to use the application while vaccinated with Sinopharm or Sputnik V will need to rely on Hungary’s bilateral travel deals.
RTL News brought attention to the fact that the digital immunity certificate, which will allow unimpeded travel within the European Union, has not been updated, and still only contains the individual’s name, TAJ number, and the date of their first vaccination.
Just Barely on Time for EU Vaccine Passport
When the news agency requested the government for a comment, they were informed that “the development has been prepared. According to the government’s decision, the date of introduction is June 30, 2021.”
While the government’s decision is not in line with the previous announcement from the minister of the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyás, the June 30 update should not be a problem, since the union’s vaccine passports will become effective on July 1.
However, the National eHealth Infrastructure (EESZT) vaccination application has already faced many negative reviews for its usability, and this release leaves little time for it to be tested and corrected if necessary.
Bilateral Travel Deals With 5 of 27 Member States
It has now been confirmed that those vaccinated with Sinopharm or Sputnik V will not have the same privileges as those inoculated with vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency.
Any Hungarian citizen can gain the same exemptions from restrictions through negative Covid tests or proof of recovery, but travel through non-EMA approved vaccination depends on bilateral deals.
EU member states can decide whether they will allow those vaccinated with non-EMA approved vaccines into their borders through nation-to-nation agreements. Hungary has been active in the completion of such agreements, however, most of them exist outside of the EU. Within the European Union, Hungary so far has travel agreements with Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán previously emphasized that the government has already concluded bilateral deals with most destination countries for Hungarians. Still, Hungarians will most likely be planning trips to more than five European Union member states. Romania and Hungary allegedly have free, open travel between their borders, but it does not show up on the Hungarian consulate’s list of bilateral deals.
Featured photo illustration by Attila Balázs/MTI