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Entry to Hungary based on where you are coming from: green, yellow or red countries

July 13, 2020

Last updated on 20 July, 2020

As of 15 July, new regulations govern who can enter Hungary and under what conditions. Since a previous decree was published just a week ago, with very different terms, we summarize the main changes and the current situation below.

A crucial change is that the countries travellers might be arriving from are now categorized as “green”, “yellow”, or “red”, depending on how dangerous they are considered with respect to bringing COVID-19 to Hungary, where people arriving from green tier countries are considered to pose the least health risk and from red tier countries the most.

The other most important change is that EU citizens and their families can no longer enter Hungary without any restrictions; their entry will depend on whether they have Hungarian documents and the category of the country they are coming from.

Anyone, regardless of nationality or status in Hungary, can enter Hungary without restrictions if they are coming from a “green” country. For restrictions applying to individuals arriving from “yellow” or “red” countries, please read below.

Click here to see the list of countries by category

1. Enter Hungary without restrictions

The following people can enter Hungary without restrictions wherever they come from:

  • service or diplomatic passport holders
  • drivers for freight traffic vehicles
  • NEW: those who can verify that they have recovered from COVID-19 over the last 6 months before entering Hungary
  • NEW: Anyone who is arriving in Hungary from a “green” country can enter Hungary without restrictions, whether or not they are citizens or residents of Hungary.

Further special exceptions may apply for transit travel, agricultural workers, competitors of international sporting events, people staying within 30 km of the Hungarian border, and certain types of cross-border business travel. These are typically applicable for very short visits and are subject to strict and specific conditions.

2. Enter Hungary with a preferential status

The following can enter with a preferential status from yellow and red countries:

  • Hungarian citizens,
  • permanent residency holders in Hungary
  • close family members (spouse and underage children) of the above
  • valid Hungarian residence permit holders where the permit was issued for a stay of more than 90 days,* regardless of the type of the residence permit

*Visas with a total validity of less than 90 days e.g. C-type visas do not qualify.

NOTE: This category no longer includes EU citizens and their families unless they have residency in Hungary or are close family members of a Hungarian citizen.

Individuals in this category will face the following restrictions:

Upon entry from a “yellow” or “red” country, they will have to pass a medical examination.

  • If they are suspected to be infected with SARS-CoV-2, they will be quarantined at a location decided by the authorities (normally their registered address in Hungary or at a state-approved quarantine location).
  • If they do not seem infected, they will still be required to stay in self-quarantine for 14 days but the requirement for self-quarantine can be waived:
    • If they have 2 negative SARS-CoV-2 test results, both performed over the last 5 days prior to the entry to Hungary, at least 48 hours apart, indicating that they are healthy. The test certificates must be in Hungarian or English.
    • NEW: If, after entering Hungary, they are tested for SARS-CoV-2 twice, at least 48 hours apart, with a negative result, the rest of the 14 days is waived.

3. Entry to Hungary for those without Hungarian documents

Those who do not have any of the documents listed above (residency or long-term visa in Hungary OR papers proving family relationship to a Hungarian citizen or permanent resident), face stricter restrictions when wishing to visit Hungary and can be refused entry.

NOTE: This category now also includes EU citizens and their family members unless they have residency in Hungary or close family members residing in Hungary.

If they arrive from “yellow” countries, they will have to pass a medical examination at their point of entry to Hungary.

  • If they are suspected to be infected with SARS-CoV-2, they will be turned away from the border and refused entry.
  • If they do not seem infected, they will still be required to stay in self-quarantine for 14 days but the requirement for self-quarantine can be waived:
    • If they have 2 negative SARS-CoV-2 test results, both performed over the last 5 days prior to the entry to Hungary, at least 48 hours apart, indicating that they are healthy. The test certificates must be in Hungarian or English.
    • NEW: If, after entering Hungary, they are tested for SARS-CoV-2 twice, at least 48 hours apart, with a negative result.

If they arrive from “red” countries, they will not be granted entry by default, but they can ask for a police clearance – see below.

Police clearance for foreigners coming from “red” countries

If you do not have any Hungarian documents and you are coming from a red country, you can ask for a police clearance if you can justify your travel to Hungary. Various reasons may be accepted, but you can find a detailed list of possible reasons here.

If you enter Hungary with a police clearance, the procedures listed above in Section 3 related to COVID-19 testing on the border will be relevant for you.

Click here to start the application process for police clearance.

You can fill in the form in Hungarian or in English (NEW), but the page itself is only in Hungarian. Go to the bottom left tile: “Államhatáron történő beutazáshoz méltányossági kérelem”. Then click 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”.

Which countries belong to which category?

Whether a country belongs to the green, yellow, or red tier will be evaluated weekly. The new list is supposed to be published each Wednesday.

The latest edition of the Official Notices listing countries by tier is available here (last updated as of 18 July, 2020), while you can find our updated list here.

Please note that the official notice lists only yellow and red countries. If a country is not listed among those, it automatically belongs to the green tier.

As a result, please always make sure to check which tier the country you are coming from belongs to before your trip to Hungary.

Got more questions? Just ask!

If you have not found the answers to your questions in the above article, please do not hesitate to contact us through the below form, and we will do our best to find an answer for you. Our colleagues have already received some questions – the answers are at the end of this article. Help us expand the list!

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Frequently asked questions

Can I come to Hungary from a yellow or red country if I cross the border from a green country?

Currently it seems they are only checking the country from where you cross the border. So for example if you are coming from Serbia (yellow), but first you cross to Croatia (green), you can enter Hungary according to the rules for green countries. However, this is not really logical so chances are this part of the process will be updated in coming weeks.

I am a Hungarian resident. Can I travel to [red country] and come back to Hungary?

You can certainly leave Hungary, but whether you can enter [red country] will depend on the rules in [red country]. When you wish to return to Hungary, the rules relevant for resident permit holders coming from a red country (Section 2) will apply to you.

What type of test is required to escape the quarantine?

You will need two molecular biological tests, meaning two PCR tests for nasal and oropharyngeal swabs (samples taken from your nose and throat). The tests will show that at the time of taking the swab samples the coronavirus was not detectable in your body. You can call your GP from home, and they will order the tests for you from the emergency services. This is free of charge until 1 August. Read more here.


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