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Opening Borders Around Europe: Who Can Now Enter Hungary and How?

Fanni Kaszás 2020.06.11.

Due to the coronavirus epidemic, Hungary closed its borders on March 17th and only Hungarian and EEA country citizens – and in some exceptional cases other citizens – have been allowed to enter the country. With the easing of restrictions around the country, borders are slowly beginning to open again, and when traveling to certain countries, people do not even have to undergo the compulsory 2-week quarantine when entering the country. We have collected the latest information for anyone who is not sure who can enter Hungary and how. 

In recent days, the home quarantine rules relaxed for many new countries‘ citizens when traveling to Hungary – and for Hungarian citizens traveling to those countries. Currently, people can now enter Hungary from the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Serbia, Slovenia and from Friday on, Croatia without the need for compulsory home quarantine for two weeks. An EEA citizen who has the right of permanent residence is treated in the same way as a Hungarian citizen and can prove this right with a permanent residence card.

Restrictions on Hungary-Croatia Border to Be Lifted on Friday

Róbert Kiss, Lieutenant Colonel of the Hungarian Police Force, spokesman of the coronavirus operative board coordinating Hungary’s response to the novel coronavirus epidemic, has also announced that from Monday, June 8th, controls at all Schengen internal borders have been abolished with the abolition of the Hungarian-Slovenian border control. However, rules on travel of non-Hungarian citizens remain in place.

Coronavirus – Rules on Travel of Non-Hungarian Citizens Remain in Place

To help businesses get going again, Hungarian citizens coming to Hungary from Poland, South Korea, and Japan and who have returned home from a business trip, are 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 above mentioned states and the company should have a business relationship with another company registered in at least one of the indicated states. 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.

With the exceptions of citizens from the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Serbia, Slovenia, and as of Friday, Croatia (as well as business travelers from Poland, South Korea, and Japan), non-Hungarian citizens are still not allowed to enter Hungary via passenger traffic. Although some exceptions have been determined, only the Deputy National Police Chief may grant a special exemption from these rules or establish a specific rule of conduct. The electric form of the application should be submitted to the Hungarian Police via this link in Hungarian.

Easing Restrictions: Who Can Now Enter Hungary and How?

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. However, they must be granted transit each way, so they must leave the country as soon as possible during the provided time period and route.

These regulations apply at all border crossings, including the airports and the road border crossing points. However, international rail and bus services are still stopped between most of the neighboring countries, with the exception of train routes between Hungary and Austria. FlixBus also started some of its international buses, including ones between Budapest and Vienna.

featured photo: Zoltán Máthé/MTI