More and more countries have announced that those possessing the holy plastic card will be able to cross their borders without restrictions. Still, there is no unilateral decision among European Union member states, let alone among the majority of the world’s countries on what measures will actually be implemented.
Even though a Hungarian decree issued at the end of April stated that those who have been vaccinated will be able to travel freely, in reality, this is hardly the case. Especially if we talk about foreign countries.
The European Parliament made a decision last week:
only those who were vaccinated with a jab approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will be entitled to certain easements when it comes to international travel.
The Chinese Sinophram and the Russian Sputnik V, the vaccines that are majorly used in Hungary, did not make the list. Nevertheless, the EMA has been investigating the Chinese jab, so the declaration of PM Viktor Orbán saying that this serum will be approved soon and used for travel this summer might come true in the near future.
When it comes to the immunity certificate and how to travel to Hungary’s neighbouring countries, here is a very detailed article containing all the information you need to know.
On the other hand, some important novelties came to life since then. Apart from Serbia, Slovenia, and Montenegro,
Bahrein also signed a bilateral agreement with Hungary, accepting one another’s immunity certificates.
This bilateral agreement will be key, and probably the only way for a while, to fight the issue of which vaccines accepted by the EU will be also accepted by individual countries.
There is another major issue with the plastic card, regarding travelling abroad. The reception date of the second jab is not included on the immunity certificate, not even when the QR code is scanned. This can cause quite a problem at the borders, since
Greece, for instance, does accept all vaccines used in Hungary, BUT only 2 weeks after receiving the second jab.
Hvg.hu asked the consular centre of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade regarding this inconvenience. Even they said that the police in another country will not understand the Hungarian plastic card, the policeman either accepts it or not. For this reason,
they advise everyone to also take the documentation received together with the second vaccine when travelling abroad since this paper does contain the actual date of inoculation.
Truth be told, it is also in Hungarian, but as the consular centre said, it will “probably” be accepted.
On a more positive note, Hungary is currently conducting negotiations with Israel and Greece to set up the aforementioned bilateral agreement.
As of today, Israel is taking the situation and all measures very seriously. Entering the country right now is only possible in certain situations and under strict circumstances. The approval of the Migration Office of Israel and a PCR test taken 72 hours prior to the travel are both needed. Right now, the Hungarian immunity certificate or a document proving that you suffered through covid do not absolve you from taking the tests. The 14-day-long quarantine can only be shortened with a test taken in Israel.
Those inoculated with both doses of a vaccine accepted by the EU can travel to Poland without restrictions.
The plastic card needs to contain the type of vaccine and the dates of both inoculations. Moreover, it needs to contain the stamp of the doctor who inoculated you, and most importantly, the documentation needs to be written either in English or in Polish. None of these conditions is met by the Hungarian immunity certificate or the document proving the vaccination.
We should forget about Germany for now, as no travel for touristic purposes is allowed, and you would need to register your trip in advance anyway.
Italy, as of today, does not give any easement to those with an immunity certificate. Nevertheless, this might very easily change on May 15 since the country desperately needs tourism.
The most exciting, breaking news is probably from Croatia, which we also reported yesterday.
Those who have a Hungarian immunity certificate will be able to travel to Croatia, free of restrictions.
The rule does not only apply to Hungarian citizens but to anyone who was inoculated in Hungary and thus has a plastic card issued by the country. The agreement is said to enter into force already this week.
Flexibility will definitely be the most important adjective describing this summer, as new restrictions, easements, and decisions are announced every single week.