As the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is approaching, the Hungarian Government has issued its new decree, detailing the rules of entering Hungary. The decree is effective as of the 1st September 2020. Our law office has compiled and translated the most important rules below.
I. Hungarian citizens and their families
Returning from Poland, Slovakia or the Czech Republic
Hungarian citizens – and their families – returning from the V4 countries (Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic) may enter Hungary without being subjected to quarantine, if they reserved accomodation in either of those countries prior to the day of returning, and they had negative results on the SARS-CoV-2 PCR test.
Returning from other countries
A Hungarian citizen – and his or her family members – returning to Hungary from any other foreign countries shall be subjected to a health inspection. The health inspection is mandatory and it may not be denied on any ground whatsoever. Depending on whether the citizen has a domicile in Hungary, he or she shall be required to stay in quarantine for 14 days, either in his or her domicile or at hospital.
Upon the citizen’s request, the epidemiological authority may give permission for the citizen to perform two PCR Covid-19 tests. Both tests must be performed within 5 days, but at least 48 hours must pass between each test. If the results of both tests turn out to be negative, the citizen may leave the quarantine.
II. Citizens of Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic
Citizens of Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic may enter Hungary without being subjected to quarantine provided that:
§ they reserved accomodation (for at least 1 day) in Hungary before the 1st September 2020, and the reservation is for September 2020.
§ they prove that within 5 days prior to entering Hungary, they have received a negative result on the SARS-CoV-2 PCR coronavirus test.
III. Other foreign (non-Hungarian) citizens
There are different rules in effect regarding certain groups of foreign citizens, depending on their ties, domicile, or other special rights or permits for entering Hungary. We have compiled the rules regarding each group below:
Foreign citizens under the same rules as Hungarian citizens
The below foreign citizens shall be subject to the same rules and procedures as Hungarian citizens upon entering Hungary:
a) Any foreign citizen – and their families – who has a valid permanent residence permit in Hungary, and is able to prove his or her right of residency;
b) Any foreign citizen who has a valid temporary residence permit for more than 90 days and shows his or her residence permit upon entering Hungary;
c) Any foreign citizen who is considered an athlete or sport expert according to the sports act, and is entering Hungary following participation in a sports event outside of Hungary;
d) Any foreign citizen who is entering Hungary following participation in a sports event outside of Hungary, and has a designated, specific invitation bearing his or her name, issued by a Hungarian sports organization.
General rules applicable to foreign citizens upon entering Hungary
As a general rule, foreign citizens may only enter Hungary with a specific entry permit. Without such permit, entry into Hungary either through the borders or through Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport (BUD) shall be denied.
The entry permit may only be granted if the applicant(s) indicate and are able to prove the exact purpose of their travel. Below we have compiled the list which contains the specific purposes that are accepted for the grant of the permit.
Foreign citizens may apply for the permit electronically, under this link. Families entering together need one permit only, but in this case all family members must be indicated in the request. The permit request may be filed either in Hungarian or in English languages, and it may be filed by proxy.
All original papers must be presented to the Hungarian authorities upon entry. In the event that the entry of the foreign citizen(s) may pose an epidemiological or security threat to Hungary, or if suspicion rises in connection with the indicated purpose of entry, the authorities shall deny the request.
The list of equitable travel purposes for foreign citizens:
The entry permit may be issued to the foreign citizen if the applicant is able to prove that the purpose of his or her travel is to:
a) participate in an official hearing or other procedure before a Hungarian court or authority, and the participation may be proven by an official document issued by a Hungarian court or authority;
b) participate in a business meeting or to perform work obligations, and such actions may be proven by an official invitation issued by a Hungarian central governmental organization, independent regulatory organization or autonomous government agency;
c) requisition health services, and the official referral issued by the health institute or by other competent person may be presented to the authorities;
d) perform educational obligations or examinations, and such purpose may be proven by a document issued by the educational institution;
e) partake in passenger traffic in connection with work obligations regarding transportation, with the purpose of reaching the starting location of the cargo, or with the purpose of returning to Hungary, if such purpose may be proven by a document issued by the employer;
f) participate on family events (marriage, baptism, funeral);
g) take care of a family member or relative under act V. of 2013 on the Civil Code of Hungary;
h) participate on sports-, cultural-, or spiritual events of priority importance;
i) other equitable purpose.
Entering Hungary using the permit
If the foreign citizen acquired the entry permit, upon entering Hungary he or she must present the permit and all associated documents and proof that served as ground for the grant of the permit.
Upon entering Hungary, the foreign citizen shall be subjected to a health inspection. The health inspection is mandatory and it may not be denied on any ground whatsoever. In the event that the results of the health inspection show that the foreign citizen’s entry may pose an epidemiological risk, entry shall be denied. If the health inspection shows no signs of infection, the foreign citizen shall be subject to 14 days of quarantine in a hospital or other health institution.
Upon the foreign citizen’s request, the epidemiological authority may give permission for the foreign citizen to perform two PCR Covid-19 tests. Both tests must be performed within 5 days, but at least 48 hours must pass between each test. If the results of both tests turn out to be negative, the foreign citizen may leave the quarantine.
Should you require legal help or have questions regarding entry to Hungary, feel free to contact our office. Stay tuned for future articles regarding COVID-19 rules and regulations.
Disclaimer: the rules indicated herein are subject to change and you should always inquire about the latest effective laws and regulations regarding travel to Hungary. The rules indicated herein are compiled and simplified in a way that one may easily find the most important regulations. Therefore, the rules indicated herein do not include all details or laws that may affect your travel. The rules indicated herein do not apply to freighters, officials, and persons who have already contracted and have healed from the COVID-19 coronavirus within 6 months prior to their arrival to Hungary. For such persons, different laws and regulations may be in effect.