The Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office announced restrictions on entry into Hungary in connection with the coronavirus epidemic. Hungary must protect its own safety, and must prevent the introduction of the virus from abroad, Gergely Gulyás said at a press conference. He said the measures restricting travel will take effect from Wednesday.
“Today Hungary is one of Europe’s safest countries from the respect of the pandemic,” Mr Gulyás said, adding that the fight against the virus has not been this successful elsewhere in the world, and so the epidemic is resurging in many places.
We have a chance of avoiding the repeated introduction of measures that restrict our lives if we succeed in keeping the virus outside our borders,” he added.
According to the Minister, it appears to be contradictory, but it is true: the better we can protect and control our borders and restrict entry into the country, the more we are able to preserve the conditions of a safe and free life in Hungary.
The government has decided to classify states into three categories – red, yellow and green – from the viewpoint of the gravity of the coronavirus situation, and is restricting the crossing of borders accordingly, Mr Gulyás explained.
He said in countries falling into the green category, both infection rates and risks are low, and so admission is free. Those countries fall into the yellow category where the situation is less grave, while countries where the situation is grave fall into the red category.
Different rules apply to Hungarian nationals and their relatives and to non-Hungarian nationals. Hungarian nationals arriving from countries in the green category are free to enter the country without controls. At the same time, Hungarians entering the country from countries falling into the yellow or red category are subject to health screening and are required to retire to quarantine for 14 days. An exception to this rule is if the person arriving in Hungary from such countries is able to present two negative coronavirus test results from tests carried in the previous 5 days with 48 hours between the two tests. Hungarian nationals arriving from yellow countries are released from quarantine after the first coronavirus test, while in the case of countries in the red category two negative test results are required.
In the case of non-Hungarian nationals, the nationals of yellow countries are allowed to enter the country under the same conditions as Hungarian nationals, while nationals from countries falling into the red category are not allowed to enter Hungary, he said.
Transit passenger and cargo traffic constitutes an exception to these rules. At the same time, health examinations may be carried out in the case of these as well, the Minister pointed out.
At present, from among EU Member States, Bulgaria, Portugal, Romania and Sweden fall into the yellow category, while from among non-EU Member States, the United Kingdom, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Japan, China and the United States.
From among European countries, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro and Ukraine as the only neighbouring country fall into the red category, as do the countries of Asia, Africa and South America with the above exceptions.
Photo: Magyar Rendőrség