Just as in Europe, the number of coronavirus infections has started to rise again in Hungary, too. The statistics seem to resemble those around the end of March and April this year. As the number of new daily infections has reached 292 in Hungary over the past 24 hours, the total number of infected people in Hungary is now 5,961, from which only 1,588 are currently active infections. Nevertheless, due to the worsening statistics, the Hungarian government has decided to reintroduce the border control regulations that were in effect during the first wave of the epidemic in order to protect the health of the country’s citizens.
Gergely Gulyás informed people at a press conference on Friday in Budapest about the decisions of the government and how they will take effect:
Starting from September 1, 2020, foreign citizens are not allowed to enter the country, apart from some exceptions.
For the reopening of schools to go undisturbed and to protect the general health of the public, the Hungarian borders will be closed to almost all. According to Infostart, the minister said at the press conference that most infections in Hungary are linked to foreign cases and trips or holidays. The government thinks that by closing the borders, they might be able to control and mitigate the spreading of the virus in the country.
The exceptions are also the same as they were during the first wave. They include military convoys, business travels between joint ventures, and diplomatic meetings.
Border crossing will be allowed only during limited hours, but travel via humanitarian corridors will be possible.
According to Cyberpress, there may be further exceptions for those who are working outside the Hungarian borders within 30 kilometres and have official documentation from their workplace. Marital relationships between a Hungarian and a foreign citizen will also be an exception, and the Hungarian National Police Headquarters can declare exceptions on individual cases through proper request.
The former colour coding system is practically out of effect as the only green country is Hungary while all other countries are red. This means that those
Hungarian citizens who enter Hungary from any foreign country have to be self-quarantined for 14 days or produce two negative tests two days apart.
Gergely Gulyás said that Hungary is testing according to the suggestions of WHO and have conducted 417,890 tests so far. He also added that only those tests can be accepted that were conducted in Hungary. Those who are tested as part of contact tracing do not have to pay for the coronavirus tests as the Hungarian government will finance them; however, if a Hungarian left and came back from a foreign country on their own volition, they will have to pay for the tests themselves.
Foreign students studying in Hungary will have to present negative coronavirus test results in order to be able to establish a student status in higher education.
Although schools are reopening and the government would like them to be able to operate as normal, there will be a possibility to assess every case individually and to close any establishment and conduct distance education as they did last semester. School opening ceremonies are not encouraged, and school trips should be planned within Hungary for the safety of the children.
Regarding the hosting of the UEFA Super Cup, Gergely Gulyás highlighted that there have been no decisions made just yet. According to the current plan, UEFA will allow 3,000 tickets per team, and the spectators will only be able to land at the airport if they have two negative test results. They will be taken directly to the stadium and back after the match while monitoring their body temperature.
Previous regulations are still in effect, meaning that you have to wear a mask or equivalent in most closed spaces (stores, public transportations) and that there should not be any event that involves over 500 people.
The new regulations to prevent the second wave will take effect on September 1, 2020, and will be in effect for a month, or until extended. There have also been talks about restoring other regulations such as the limited shopping hours of people over 65, but according to the government, the Hungarian healthcare is now prepared, and they have 8,000 hospital beds available if necessary. The government will also send 50 ventilators to Transcarpathia to aid them in fighting the epidemic.
Source: Cyberpress.hu, Infostart.hu, Kormany.hu