State of emergency over in Hungary, some restrictions remain

June 18, 2020

UPDATE: New regulations apply starting from 1 September 2020. Read more here.

Last updated on 31 August 2020.

As of 18 June, the state of emergency in Hungary is officially cancelled. However, some of the preventive measures remain in place, including the requirement for wearing a mask in public transport and in shops, and the travel ban is still only lifted partially. Moreover, the 45 days of grace start ticking for people whose residence permit expired during the state of emergency.

Daily life, wearing masks

With the state of emergency in Hungary over, things are slowly returning to normal. The most obvious change is that the 9 a.m. – noon period is no more dedicated to elderly customers in shops. From now on, people above 65 are allowed to shop all day, while people under 65 can do their shopping in the morning too.

At the same time, wearing a mask remains compulsory in shops and on public transport, and for the staff of restaurants and similar establishments in enclosed spaces. The mask of your choice should always cover both the mouth and the nose to achieve the maximum protection offered by it.

In other public places it is not compulsory to wear a mask, although it is recommended, since the incubation period of the coronavirus is still two weeks, which makes it impossible to determine whether you are infected or not unless you are tested regularly. The use of the Hungarian contact tracer app available from is still encouraged.

State of alert instead of state of emergency

Although the state of emergency is over and most of the relevant restrictions are lifted, Hungary remains in a state of alert at least until 18 December 2020, to be revised every three months. This means that the government will stay prepared for acting quickly if new threats to the health of the general public emerge.

Travel restrictions loosened as of 18 June

From 18 June, the following people may enter Hungary without police clearance and without self-quarantine:

  • citizens of Hungary
  • citizens of the EU and Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, and Serbia (but NOT the UK)
  • close family members (spouse and underage children) of citizens of Hungary and the above countries, and
  • people with service or diplomat passports.

If you belong to the above categories, but you entered Hungary before 18 June, meaning you were asked by the police to stay in quarantine for 2 weeks, you are NOT redeemed from this obligation. Even if new entrants are not required to stay in quarantine, you must stay at home and be patient.

In other cases, e.g. if you are a third-country national (with or without residency in Hungary), you must apply for police clearance to enter Hungary from the Hungarian Police. Your health will be checked upon entry, and if you are suspected to be infected with the coronavirus, your entry may be denied even if your application had been formerly approved. If you seem healthy, you may still be asked to stay in self-quarantine for 2 weeks. The decision on whether or not you have to self-quarantine is made by the police upon your entry.

Click here to start the application process.

The form must be filled in in Hungarian, and the page itself is in Hungarian. Find the option on the bottom left tile: “Államhatáron történő beutazáshoz méltányossági kérelem”. Then click on it again on the next page. On the third page, you have the following options:

  • COVID-01: entry application with logging in to „ügyfélkapu” (the Hungarian electronic administration system)
  • COVID-02: entry application without logging in to „ügyfélkapu”
  • COVID-03: appeal if your previous application was refused, with logging in to „ügyfélkapu”
  • COVID-04: appeal if your previous application was refused, without logging in to „ügyfélkapu”

You will most probably need the option COVID-02, especially if you are not registered to „ügyfélkapu”.

When applying for the police clearance, the following (as well as other reasonable, documented purposes) can be cited as justification for requesting entry:

  • being a managing director of a Hungarian company, holding a residence permit
  • being a Hungarian work permit holder
  • coming to a court hearing, with a citation
  • study purposes, e.g. taking an exam at a Hungarian university, with a confirmation from the university
  • business purposes connected to and verified by a government authority
  • receiving healthcare services, verified by a referral
  • travel in connection with the transportation of goods, to get to the point of departure before or to return home after a delivery job
  • participation in family events (wedding, baptism, funeral)
  • taking care of relatives
  • participation in priority events on the international level in the fields of sports, culture, or religion

For now, trade continues to be unrestricted, including the free entry of drivers of commercial vehicles.

Expired resident permits and work permits

It was communicated earlier that all residence permits and work permits expiring during the state of emergency would be automatically extended with 45 days after the end of the state of emergency. The extra 45 days start today, on 18 June. This means that if your permit expired between 6 April and 17 June, it will be valid until 2 August, Sunday.

Although August may still seem far away, you should start your renewal procedure as soon as possible. The Immigration Office will be flooded with applications now they are accepting applications again, so processing times might be longer than usual.

Still have questions?

Check out the frequently asked questions related to the end of the state of emergency here, or contact us through the form below.

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