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Easing Restrictions: Who Can Now Enter Hungary and How?

Fanni Kaszás 2020.05.22.

Since March 17th, the Hungarian borders have been closed to all passenger transport – only Hungarian citizens and their family members have been allowed to enter the country. With the easing of restrictions around the country, borders are slowly beginning to open again and some rules of entry were also lifted in April for certain citizens, commuters, and those who travel for business purposes. As there is still uncertainty, we have collected the latest information for anyone who is not sure who can enter Hungary and how. 

For the time being, in general, non-Hungarian citizens are still not allowed to enter Hungary in passenger traffic, but some exceptions have been determined to help businesses get going again, and commuters who work in neighboring countries to be able to travel between their workplaces and homes.

Citizens of neighboring countries can enter the country on the basis of the agreements concluded for the purpose of commuting (work, studies, health care). This means that everyone who lives in Hungary or a neighboring country can enter if they can present credible evidence of their employment in the other country, or a certificate of their studies (e.g. student card).

Austrian citizens are granted entry into Hungary without business purposes as well from Friday on, but they have to present a document showing the negative result of a test for novel coronavirus carried out in the previous four days.

Coronavirus: Entry from Austria Possible from Friday if Virus Test Negative

Citizens for the purpose of humanitarian transit can also enter Hungary in agreement with the neighboring countries. Hungary is still guaranteeing a humanitarian corridor for its Eastern European neighbors to allow them back from Western Europe. They must be granted transit each way, so they must leave the country as soon as possible during the provided time period and route. Citizens of neighboring countries ensuring the labor needs of the agricultural sector can also enter the country.

From the end of April, on the basis of a government decree, the rules for entering the territory of Hungary changed. From April 30th,  Hungarian citizens coming to Hungary from the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and South Korea, and who has returned home from a business trip, is not obliged to go into a 14-day home quarantine. However, the citizen must be a senior official or employee of a domestic company or a company registered in one of the mentioned states and the company should have a business relationship with another company registered in at least one of the indicated states. Hungarian citizens can leave the country for any purpose as long as the neighboring country allows them to enter its territory.

In addition, all Slovak, Czech, Polish, Austrian, German, South Korean, and Japanese citizens arriving from these countries for the purpose of business travel, can also enter the country and stay without the home quarantine period. However, they must prove business purposes upon entry to the country.

Otherwise, only Hungarian citizens can enter the country – who, without business purposes are subject to a 14-day home quarantine. Foreign citizens cannot enter the territory of Hungary, but there are some exceptions.

Foreign Citizens Outside EEA Countries but Residents of Hungary: Can They Enter?

In case of families traveling together, if at least one of the parties is a Hungarian citizen, the foreign family members (child, parent, grandparent, husband, or wife) are also permitted to enter Hungary. Citizens of any EEA countries (EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) who have the right of permanent residency in Hungary and who prove this right with a permanent residence card, are also considered to be Hungarian citizens, therefore they can enter the country just like Hungarian citizens.

Otherwise, only the Deputy National Police Chief may grant a special exemption from these rules or establish a specific rule of conduct. Pursuant to the provisions of Government Decree 81/2020 (IV.1.), citizens who wish to enter must undergo mandatory medical screening upon entry to the country, and only if COVID-19 infection has not been detected and the foreign citizen’s data is registered, can they enter.  The electric form of the application should be submitted to the Hungarian Police via this link in Hungarian. Those applying should fulfill the entry conditions regulated in the Schengen Borders Code and need to prove that they are authorized to enter the country of their destination.

If someone does not come to Hungary in connection with a company that has a business relationship with another company registered in at least one of the above indicated states (Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and South Korea), but has their own company registered in Hungary, or may have real estate in the country (but does not have a residence card), in general, they cannot enter, but in a case worthy of special consideration, the deputy chief of police decides.

These regulations apply at all border crossings, including the airports and the road border crossing points. However, it must also be noted that at the moment, international train and bus traffic have stopped between most of the neighboring countries, with the exception of train routes between Hungary and Austria.

featured photo illustration: István Filep/MTI