Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Hungary to slightly relax the nation's COVID-19-related border restrictions Sept. 1-30 permitting entry to citizens of three countries.

Alert Begins 01 Sep 2020 07:02 PM UTC
Alert Expires 30 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

From Sept. 1-30, authorities in Hungary will slightly ease the country's decision to close the nation's borders as part of ongoing efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Throughout the month of September, citizens of the Visegrad Four Group, which includes the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia, will be allowed entry to Hungary provided they can provide a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken within five days of arrival. Officials will not permit entry to nonresidents of other countries. Military convoys, foreign diplomats, international students, freight transporters, business travelers, and individuals providing humanitarian aid are exempt from this measure. In addition, all Hungarian citizens returning to the country Sept. 1-30 are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival or present two negative PCR tests taken two days apart. Authorities are only accepting tests administered by Hungarian testing centers for Hungarian citizens.

Budapest Ferenc Liszt (BUD) and Debrecen (DEB) airports are open, though many airlines have suspended or curtailed flights. The demand for tickets on available flights is high, and enhanced health screenings could prompt processing delays at the airport.

Most domestic business activity has been permitted to resume, providing strict hygiene and social distancing measures are observed. Protective face coverings remain mandatory on public transport and in enclosed public spaces. Mass gatherings in Hungary are currently prohibited. Family and social events in excess of 200 persons are indefinitely prohibited.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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