Hungary imposes new border restrictions from 15 July

Hungary will impose new restrictions on cross-border travel as of Wednesday, 15 July, following a surge in coronavirus cases in several countries, news wires reported. PM Viktor Orban's chief of staff Gergely Gulyas told an online news conference on Sunday that new restrictions were needed to keep the coronavirus "outside the borders" in order to avoid the re-introduction of domestic lockdown measures.

Hungary lifted most of its lockdown restrictions in May and opened its borders to travellers from EU members and neighbouring non-EU states. Under the new rules, Hungarian nationals returning from high risk countries listed as "yellow" and "red" will have to go through health checks at the border and will have to go into 14 days of quarantine even if they are not infected. This can only be avoided with two negative COVID-19 tests from the previous 5 days, Gulyas said. The same applies to foreigners coming from "yellow" countries, but those from "red" countries will be barred from entry.

Countries in the Balkans such as Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and neighbouring Ukraine belong to the red category, among some other states. Serbia, Bulgaria, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Sweden, and the UK are among countries listed as "yellow", while travel from Croatia, a popular holiday destination for Hungarians, is free for the time being. The list will be regularly reviewed.

Transit and cargo travel, as well as business trips are exempt from the restrictions but health checks can be conducted.

Hungary, which has a population of around 10 million, had recorded 4,234 cases of COVID-19 and 595 related deaths as of 12 July.


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