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COVID-19 measures in Hungary in September 2020

September 21, 2020

To keep the spread of COVID-19 in check in Hungary, and to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, new measures have been introduced in September. These include limiting the price of the PCR tests, reducing the time to spend in quarantine, and introducing fines for those not wearing a mask where it is compulsory.

Price regulation for PCR tests

Starting from 21 September, Monday, the price of PCR tests is maximized in HUF 19,500 (ca. EUR 55), which is about EUR 30 less than previous prices.

However, currently it seems that the regulated price is actually too low. Many clinics that do not have a laboratory of their own (and have been sending samples for analysis to separate laboratories) have stopped performing PCR tests altogether, saying that handling the procedure is financially not feasible anymore.

If you have had a test scheduled before the new prices were introduced, check with your clinic if they can still perform the test as agreed. If not, you will have to find another clinic.

Only 10 days to be spent in quarantine

In accordance with latest regulations, those arriving to Hungary were to be subjected to 14 days in quarantine (unless they were exempt for one reason or another). Starting from 21 September, Monday, the time to spend in quarantine is reduced to only 10 days. This is in line with current international practice, since the incubation time of the disease is usually between 5-6 days (while previously it was estimated between 5-14 days).

The new regulation pertains only to those entering Hungary starting from 21 September. Those who entered Hungary earlier must remain in quarantine until the day specified in their quarantine order, unless they can get the quarantine order withdrawn by their local Public Health Department.

Wearing a mask urged by fine for those non-compliant

In Budapest, starting from 18 September, Friday, not wearing a mask in public spaces is punishable with a fine between HUF 8,000 – 15,000 (ca. EUR 22 – 42). Wearing a mask that covers both your mouth and nose reduces the spread of the coronavirus, and it is advisable also for those who are not sick, because you may infect others even if you are not showing any symptoms, partly because of the long incubation period of the disease.

Covering your face with a scarf or a bandana etc. is not enough anymore: you need to cover your mouth and nose with a mask.

The venues where you must wear a mask in Budapest to avoid getting fined:

  • on public transport
  • in shops
  • shopping malls and markets
  • movies, theaters, concerts, circus performances, and the closed spaces of similar establishments (performers are NOT required to wear a mask)
  • at the general meeting of the owners of property in a building

At such a venue, you may remove your mask only to eat or drink. Mind you, eating on public transport in general is forbidden.

In Hungary, you must also wear a mask:

  • in public libraries
  • at the post office
  • at any official customer service center (e.g. “kormányablak”)
  • at the stops and waiting areas of public transport
  • at sports facilities

Any questions? Let us know!

Should you have any questions regarding entering Hungary during the pandemic, fill in the form below to contact us, and we will do our best to answer your questions.


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