Hungary recloses its borders to international visitors

Published on : Thursday, September 3, 2020

Hungary has once again closed its borders for international travellers following a rise in the number of positive COVID-19 cases. The official announcement was made by Gergely Gulyás, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office. With the latest decision Hungary also became the first Schengen Country to close its borders to international visitors again.

The strict measures have been reintroduced at a time when several countries around the world are seeking new alternatives for the imposed travel restrictions and border closures in an effort to prevent the COVID-19 outbreak. The entry ban is likely to remain effective for at least one month. All Hungarian citizens and nationals have also been urged to avoid non-essential travel to other countries.

All Hungarian nationals arriving from foreign countries have been asked to undergo quarantine or present negative PCR test results upon their arrival. However, it has also been informed by officials that the corridor to transit through the country will continue to be functional, and there would be some exemptions in the reintroduced ban, for diplomatic visits and other emergency cases.

A humanitarian corridor to facilitate the movement of travellers subject to restrictions imposed by many countries was opened during the month of July. The country will continue to use the same corridor while maintaining several other preventive measures. Usage of face masks and observing social distancing has also been declared mandatory in Budapest’s International Airport. It was around last week that authorities in Hungary first advised citizens to avoid international travel during September and announced that stringent preventive measures would be undertaken in an effort to curb the further spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Minister Gulyás said in his statement that border crossing will be allowed during limited hours, and travel via humanitarian corridors will also be guaranteed in the future, following the rules in effect earlier. He also announced that diplomatic and official travel will be allowed and specific stringent rules will apply to sports events. He informed that the national police chief will have the authority to grant exemptions in cases that deserve special consideration. He also stated that no abroad holidays would be entertained starting this month, in particular to the Southern countries.

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