Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, said the government is introducing international travel restrictions with the aim of preventing a new wave of the coronavirus epidemic.
Gulyás told a press conference that Hungary must prevent the virus from being imported from abroad. The government does not currently plan to introduce any additional restrictive rules within the country, but it will tighten border controls from Wednesday.
“Hungary is today among the safest countries in Europe,” he said. But given new 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, he said.
The operative board in charge of containing the epidemic has advised the government to classify countries as “red”, “yellow” and “green”, based on the severity of the situation in each, Gulyás said, adding that it is continually monitoring infection data from abroad.
Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Belarus, Montenegro and Ukraine, as well as some Asian countries, fell into the most risky red category.
Of the EU Member States, Romania, Portugal, Bulgaria and Sweden fall into the yellow category, as well as Serbia, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and China. Anyone who comes to Hungary from any of these countries will be quarantined, but may leave the quarantine after the first negative test. Two negative tests are needed in a case where they arrived from a country in the red category.
All other countries, including Croatia are in the green category for now. Whoever comes from one of these countries will be randomly checked. Hungarian citizens from yellow and red category countries must undergo a health examination at the border, except if they already have two negative COVID tests from within a period of 5 days, 48 hours between the tests. Based on an on-site examination, everyone should be quarantined for 14 days if they are suspected of being infected with the coronavirus.
A non-Hungarian citizen, who is not a permanent resident, arriving from the territory of the country marked with a red sign may not enter the territory of Hungary. Upon entering the territory of the country marked with a yellow sign, the foreigner must undergo a medical examination, if infection is established, he or she may not enter the territory of Hungary. If no infection is suspected, foreign citizens must undertake a 14-day compulsory home quarantine.
A non-Hungarian citizen arriving from abroad may enter the territory of Hungary without restriction from the territory of a country marked with a green sign. The new entry rules will take effect from Tuesday midnight.
“The better we are able to protect our borders and restrict entry to the country, the better we can uphold the conditions for a safe and free life in Hungary,” the minister said.