There have been many uncertainties since the coronavirus struck the world last year. Since then, many countries and pharmaceutical corporations have developed several types of vaccines to combat the coronavirus epidemic. Unfortunately, there are still some things that are uncertain, and so there can be a great deal of confusion between different countries’ restrictions. In this article, we would like to shed some light on what you might need to keep in mind when travelling to Hungary or other European countries from Hungary.
Let us start with the current restrictions concerning Hungary. After the vaccination programme reached 4 million inoculated people, the country had its largest reopening for a long time.
There have been talks about a universal European Green Card that would confirm people’s inoculation, prior virus infection or test results so that those people can be exempt from certain restrictions when travelling between EU or Schengen countries.
According to Hvg, as it currently stands, the earliest this card can be expected to launch is the 21st of June, but due to diplomatic issues and disagreements about vaccines, this might be heavily delayed.
The current way to go, it seems, are bilateral agreements. This means that two countries agree with the other, independent of the EU, that they will accept each other’s certificates for vaccination, prior infection and negative results. Hungary has currently six such agreements:
Now, how can you travel to other countries from Hungary? This is the tricky part. There is no established basic system in the EU, and every country can decide on their own restrictions. According to Hvg, most countries, however, use the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s system. It has four levels: green, orange, red, and dark red.
Brussel’s main view is that EU countries should lift travel restrictions for those who come from regions with the green classification.
In Europe it is Finland and Norway, but there are some non-EU countries which have similar classification:
But again, using this system is not mandatory; Hungary, for example, does not use it, which can really complicate things, especially because Hungary is in the red classification, which means that travel restrictions are in effect if you would like to visit other countries from Hungary.
What can you do then to know what restrictions are in effect and where? Well, it is tough to say since there is no consensus on things.
Hvg also suggests checking border crossings, as you may not pass at certain checkpoints. Public transportation might have a reduced schedule or other restrictions. And also, flight tickets are not necessarily a guarantee that the flight will not be cancelled.
Also keep in mind that some countries require different time periods to pass after receiving each vaccine.
Unfortunately, in this sense, the Hungarian certificate is not the best, as the date of complete inoculation is not printed on the card, nor the type of the vaccine. As for the EMA accepting certain vaccines, that might not be an issue. Recently, it accepted the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, which many countries did not seem to trust at first.
Tourist attractions might also have certain restrictions, so it is best to check before planning your travel.
Most countries require people to wear masks (some even the type: FFP2) at least indoors, and keeping the proper distance is also a widespread requirement.
For the best site to gather some information about the travel restrictions in the EU, you should visit Re-open EU, where you can find the latest news in a plethora of languages. A good source of information would be your country’s embassy in your destination or the target country’s government website.
Source: koronavirus.gov.hu, Hvg.hu, Daily News Hungary