Hungary changes border lockdown, angers EU

Hungary decided to make some exemptions in its newly imposed border lockdown rules allowing tourists from three neighbouring states - the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, to enter the country, news wires reported. The EU Commission reacted by saying that such a move amounted to discrimination and was illegal.

Hungary said last week it would close its borders to foreigners from Tuesday to curb a rise in coronavirus cases. Returning Hungarian citizens can leave a 14-day quarantine only if they provide two negative Covid-19 tests. However, after talks with Czech PM Andrej Babis, Hungarian PM Viktor Orban agreed to let Czech visitors who have already booked holidays in Hungary for September enter the country, the Foreign Ministry said.

The easing was subsequently extended to Poland and Slovakia, the ministry said in a statement. Visitors coming to Hungary have to produce a negative Covid test not older than five days, which Budapest says represents sufficient safety guarantees.

But according to the Commission, Hungary's decision clashed with the bloc's rules on free travel. “Any measures that do not comply with those fundamental principles of EU law should of course be immediately retracted," European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said, adding he would raise the matter with Budapest.

Similar articles

  • Greece scraps mandatory face mask-wearing outdoors

    Greece scraps mandatory face mask-wearing outdoors

    Greece will end the mandatory wearing of face masks outdoors and ease other remaining restrictions imposed to curb the Covid-19 pandemic as infections now clearly recede, authorities said cited by Reuters. As of today wearing face masks will remain mandatory only indoors except in congested outdoor places.

    23
  • Sweden's PM Lofven maintains voters' trust despite political crisis

    Sweden's PM Lofven maintains voters' trust despite political crisis

    Social Democrat PM Stefan Lofven is Swedish voter's most trusted leader, a poll showed on Thursday, despite a crisis that saw parliament pass a vote of no-confidence in him on Monday, Reuters reported. The Novus poll showed 38% of Swedes have confidence in Lofven, ahead of his most likely rival for the post of prime minister, centre-right Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson, who was backed by 35% of voters.

     

    22
  • Merkel remains strongly against patent waivers for Covid-19 vaccines

    Merkel remains strongly against patent waivers for Covid-19 vaccines

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke out strongly on Thursday against suspending patent protection for coronavirus vaccine manufacturers, in what is likely to be her last government statement to parliament, dps reported. Speaking to the Bundestag ahead of an EU leaders' summit in Brussels, Merkel said she backed increasing the production of vaccines for poorer countries through increased licensing. But she told lawmakers: "In contrast, I consider a politically obtained release of patents to be the wrong way to go."

     

    23