Travel restrictions to Hungary (“Travel Restrictions”) can be regulated on unilateral, bilateral or multilateral level. So far, we have knowledge about one unilateral and three bilateral travel restrictions adopted by the Hungarian government, so this overview will be focused on these. However, given the fast-changing nature of the situation, it can be the case that more bilateral agreement will be adopted, that change the current legal environment.
1. Decrees regulating Travel Restrictions
The Government Decree 408/2020. (VIII.30) (“Government Decree”) and regulates generally the Travel Restrictions, which came into effect on 1st September 2020.
The Government Decree 419/2020. (IX. 1.) (“Exemption Decree”) regulates the Travel Restrictions concerning Czech, Polish and Slovak citizens, who had reservations in September in Hungary and Hungarian citizens, who enter Hungary from Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and had hotel reservation in these countries. The Exemption Decree also came into force on 1st September 2020, but it will be repealed on 1st October 2020.
2. Regulations for Hungarian citizens
According to Sections 2 and 3 of the Government Decree, Hungarian citizens arriving to Hungary are obliged to go into 14 days of isolation and they may be subject to mandatory health examinations.
The place of isolation (in case there is no suspicion of infection) is the person’s official address, while in case of suspicion of infection, the place of isolation is a designated quarantine facility by the authorities.
The person in isolation can request an exemption from the above obligation by doing 2x PCR tests in Hungary, 48 hours apart from each other.
If the tests prove that they are not infected with SARS-CoV-2, they are exempted from the isolation obligation.
Exemption Decree grants exemption from the above rules for those Hungarian citizens, who come from Czech Republic, Poland or Slovakia and had reservations in these countries the day before the arrival to Hungary if 1 PCR test proves that they are not infected with SARS-CoV-2.
3. Regulations for non-Hungarian citizens
According to the Section 5 of the Government Decree, non-Hungarian citizens, as a general rule, cannot enter Hungary.
However, a non-Hungarian citizen can request an exemption from the above general rule and enter Hungary on the basis of the following reasons:
It should be noted that if the request of a non-Hungarian citizen is accepted and the non-Hungarian enters Hungary, he is also obliged to go into 14 days of isolation and he may be subject to mandatory health examinations in the same way as in case of a Hungarian citizen, however, he can also request an exemption from this obligation under the same conditions as the Hungarians.
Exemption Decree grants exemption from the above rules for those Czech, Polish and Slovak citizens, who come from their countries to Hungary and had reservations in Hungary, which was booked before 1st September 2020. if 1 PCR test, done at least 5 days before the entry, proves that they are not infected with SARS-CoV-2.
4. Procedural rules of the request for entry of a non-Hungarian citizen
The foreign citizen or his/her authorised representative can submit the request only electronically in English or in Hungarian on the website of the Hungarian Police.
Accepting the request is at the sole discretion of the Hungarian Police, but if the request is refused, the decision may be appealed.
The document proving the reason of the entry shall be attached to the request and the original copy of the document shall be presented at the entering into the country by the foreign citizen.
As of 1st September 2020, Hungarian citizens can enter into Hungary without request, but they are obliged to go into 14 days of isolation after the arriving.
Non-Hungarian citizens, as a general rule, cannot enter Hungary, but they can request an exemption based on the grounds listed above. If their request is accepted and they enter Hungary, they are also obliged to go into isolation under the same condition as the Hungarians.
Hungarian and non-Hungarian citizens can be exempted from the isolation if two PCR tests done in Hungary, 48 hours apart from each other, prove that they are not infected with SARS-CoV-2.
However, different rules can be applied in case of Czech, Polish and Slovak citizens and Hungarians who come from the Czech Republic, Poland or Slovakia.
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