On Sunday, the Hungarian government announced fundamental changes to the entry regulations and quarantine requirements for both Hungarian citizens and foreign nationals entering Hungary. The restrictions, imposed to prevent a second wave of the coronavirus epidemic, will take effect after midnight on Tuesday. Countries around the world are marked with red, yellow and green,” according to the current level of COVID-19 infection.” We have collected the new rules of entry and the classifications of the countries.
On Sunday, at a special press conference, Head of the Prime Minister’s Office, Gergely Gulyás, announced that the government is introducing international travel restrictions with the aim of preventing the virus from being imported from abroad, and to avoid a possible new wave of the coronavirus epidemic. Gulyás said that although “Hungary is today among the safest countries in Europe,” given the circumstances and the newly reported outbreaks around the world, the government is putting the health and safety of Hungarians foremost and is doing everything possible to prevent the virus’s return.
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According to the new restrictions, as of midnight, countries of the world are classified into three groups: red, yellow, and green based on the current level of COVID-19 infection in the country. Gulyás said that the government will continually monitor infection data from abroad, as there are “worrying signs” from neighboring countries as well. Thus, the list of countries classified with each color will be revised every week on Wednesday at the government meeting.
The rules of entry into Hungary are different for Hungarian citizens and foreigners, and from countries classified as green, yellow, and red. Basically everyone – both Hungarians and non-Hungarians – can enter the territory of Hungary arriving from countries in the green group, without quarantine restrictions or negative COVID-19 test (should be either in Hungarian or in English, other languages are not accepted). In the case of the two other groups, special rules will apply to Hungarian citizens and their relatives. Hungarian residents have the same status as Hungarian citizens. The type of the residence permit can also be a work permit or a student permit, but people who are allowed to stay in Hungary for more than 90 days also falls into this category.
List and restrictions for countries classified as red, yellow, and green
Countries labeled as green are the ones where the current rates of infection are low. From countries classified as green, everyone, Hungarian citizens and non-Hungarians alike can travel to the territory of Hungary without any restrictions. This group includes Austria, Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, Italy, Malta, the Czech Republic, Poland Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Ireland, Iceland, and Greenland.
Those countries which are less severely impacted by the coronavirus are marked yellow. In the case of these countries, everyone is subject to a health check upon arrival, but Hungarian citizens and their relatives and non-Hungarians have different rules of entry. Foreign citizens arriving from countries marked yellow, and if a preliminary test reveals suspicion of infection, they cannot enter the territory of Hungary. If the health examination does not reveal suspicion of infection, they are subject to 14 days quarantine or providing authorities with the results of two negative coronavirus tests conducted a maximum of five days prior to entry into Hungary, at least 48 hours apart. If a foreigner with Hungarian residency arrives from a yellow country, the same procedure applies to them as to Hungarian citizens.
In the case of Hungarian citizens and their relatives, if the health examination reveals suspicion of infection, they will be placed in quarantine. If the medical examination does not establish the suspicion of infection, and the person concerned has a residence or stays in Hungary, they are subject to official home quarantine for 14 days. If they do not have accommodation in Hungary, they will be quarantined in a place designated by the epidemiological authority. In case they can provide authorities with two consecutive negative coronavirus tests taken 48 hours apart within the previous five days, they are not subject to quarantine. If a first test carried out after the start of the quarantine period is negative, they can leave the official quarantine, but they will still have to do the second one to confirm the result of the first test. Countries classified as yellow include Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Norway, Russia, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Sweden, Japan, and China.
All other countries are marked with red, meaning that the level of infection in the country is severe. Non-Hungarians cannot enter the territory of Hungary from these countries. If a foreigner with Hungarian residency arrives from a red country, the same procedure applies to them as to Hungarian citizens. Hungarians can enter the country from red countries, however, they are subject to medical inspection and in case of the suspicion of coronavirus infection, they will be quarantined unless they can provide two consecutive negative coronavirus tests taken 48 hours apart within the previous five days. If two tests are carried out after the start of the quarantine period and both are negative, they can leave the official quarantine. Countries classified red include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Kosovo, North-Macedonia, Montenegro, Ukraine, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Central American and South American countries, the Middle East, most of Asia, and Africa.
Entry rules do not apply to the carriage of goods. The government decree also lists a number of exceptions for individuals from countries marked red or yellow (who are not Hungarian citizens or residents), such as access to healthcare, active student status, participation in a family event (e.g. wedding, christening, funeral), or participation in a high-profile international sport, cultural, or church event. Those who would like to enter the country under these exceptions should submit an application for a permit to enter the country to the Hungarian police. Citizens of neighboring states marked with yellow and red may also enter the territory of Hungary for a maximum period of 24 hours within a distance of 30 kilometers from the state border, as well as those working in agriculture.