Hungarians planning a summer holiday or those who commute to work might think twice about crossing the border to red and yellow countries because the government no longer covers the fee of their coronavirus tests in the case they want to come back to the country.
Since the middle of July, countries have been divided into three categories: green, yellow, and red, based on their current number of infections and the moving average of the last two weeks. So far, if Hungarians wished to enter the country from yellow or red countries, they were obligated to quarantine themselves for 14 days, unless they could present two negative coronavirus tests, in which case they were exempt from quarantine. Important changes are coming and modifying this system, Népszava reports.
From August 1st, the Hungarian government no longer covers the coronavirus test fees of Hungarians who are coming from countries marked yellow or red. Therefore, people will have to pay for the tests themselves, which could cost them more than what it takes to travel.
People still have the chance to remain in quarantine for two weeks if they wish not to pay for the tests. However, this might not be an option for people who are coming to work. Employers are not obligated to pay anything when their employees are in quarantine after a holiday, so these two weeks without work could cost more than the price of the tests. Due to the time that must pass between swabs, people would need to stay home for almost one week anyways.
GPs can order free tests in cases where there is a very high chance of infection.
There are only a few state healthcare institutions which are equipped to do the testing themselves. The rest can purchase the tests either from these institutions or from private distributors on the market.
The price of the tests is determined by each individual institution. In state healthcare labs, tests cost around EUR 93-110, but tests purchased from the market could cost up to EUR 145.
If someone prefers private healthcare rather than the state, PCR tests are available at Mammut Egészségközpont and at Wáberer Medical Centre (both around EUR 93) or at Dr Rose Private Hospital (EUR 113, but results are available in 24 hours).
It is uncertain at this point whether the tests are to be done at people’s homes or at the healthcare institutions. We also do not know if all family members have to be tested or not after coming home from a family holiday if the parents would like to get back to work.