Alexandra Bognár July 29 2020 Travel restrictions are back Schoenherr | Employment & Immigration - Hungary Alexandra Bognár Employment & Immigration IntroductionRestrictions for citizens and non-citizens with permanent residenceRestrictions for non-citizensTransitLeniency applications and business tripsGreen, yellow and red countriesCommentIntroductionFollowing a few weeks of travel restrictions easing, the government has adopted new rules for travellers to Hungary in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new rules apply to travellers with private passports; therefore, freight traffic is exempt. Do holiday bookings and business trips need to be put on hold yet again?The answer depends on the country from which the traveller comes – more specifically, the colour that this country has been labelled. The new rules establish a classification system for countries (green, yellow or red) depending on the severity of the COVID-19 situation there. Green refers to the less infected countries and red refers to the most infected countries. The new restrictions apply depending on the country from which travellers are coming.Restrictions for citizens and non-citizens with permanent residence Hungarian citizens and non-Hungarian citizens with permanent residence in Hungary who are travelling from a green-labelled country face no restrictions.Where such travellers are coming from a yellow or red-labelled country, they must take a COVID-19 test when entering Hungary. If the test is positive, travellers must stay under officially set or supervised home quarantine. If the test is negative, travellers must stay under supervised home quarantine for 14 days unless they have taken two consecutive negative tests (taken 48 hours apart within five days prior to entering Hungary).Restrictions for non-citizensNon-Hungarian citizens travelling from a green-labelled country face no restrictions. However, if they experience COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days of entering Hungary, they must stay at their accommodation and inform the pandemic authorities.Non-Hungarian citizens travelling from a yellow-labelled country must take a COVID-19 test when entering Hungary. If the test is positive, they cannot enter Hungary. If the test is negative, they can enter Hungary but must stay under officially set or supervised home quarantine unless they have taken two consecutive negative tests (taken 48 hours apart within five days prior to entering Hungary).Non-Hungarian citizens travelling from a red-labelled country cannot enter Hungary.TransitFor the purpose of transit, travellers may enter Hungary if they take a COVID-19 test and it is negative. Transit travellers must leave the country within 24 hours.Leniency applications and business tripsThe police may accept leniency applications if certain circumstances allow for such special appreciation (eg, an individual must participate in a court procedure or enter Hungary due to family reasons).The new rules have left some room for business travel among joint ventures. For green-labelled countries, the restrictions do not apply. The restrictions have also been waived for yellow-labelled countries if the traveller can adequately substantiate the trip's business reason (eg, by showing an invitation or employment contract).Green, yellow and red countriesAt present, the following countries are labelled red:Albania;Bosnia;Belarus;Kosovo;North Macedonia;Moldova;Montenegro;Ukraine;all Asian countries except China and Japan;all African countries;all American countries except the United States; andall countries in Oceania.The following countries are labelled yellow:Bulgaria;the United Kingdom;Norway;Russia;Portugal;Romania;Serbia;Sweden;China;Japan; andthe United States.All other countries are labelled green. The classification of countries will be revised weekly.CommentLaw makers are trying to slow down international travel (again) in order to prevent a potential new wave of the pandemic.Interim pandemic-triggered laws made during Spring 2020 resulted in the lifting of certain procedures which require personal contact. Most of these rules are still in force even though the state of emergency has been revoked in order to limit personal contact and eliminate unnecessary travel where non-essential.For further information on this topic please contact Alexandra Bognár at Schoenherr Hungary by telephone (+36 1 8700 700) or email ([email protected]). The Schoenherr website can be accessed at www.schoenherr.eu.