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Decree codifies ban, with exceptions, on entry by foreigners to Hungary

A decree issued by the prime minister banning entry to Hungary by foreign nationals, with some exceptions, has been published in the official gazette Magyar Közlöny, state news wire MTI reports.

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The planned ban, in force from September 1 to contain the spread of the coronavirus, was announced on Friday.

Exceptions to the ban are made for foreigners on official business involving state organizations, those certified to receive healthcare, students with a certification from an educational institution, truck drivers returning home, visitors taking part in family events such as weddings, and participants of international sport, cultural or church events.

Foreigners whose applications for entry are approved must go into a mandatory 14-day quarantine which may be lifted only after two negative COVID-19 tests taken at least 48 hours apart.

The decree allows for the unrestricted entry by foreign executives or employees of Hungarian companies as well as of foreign companies registered in some designated countries.

A separate decree issued by the interior minister specifies those designated countries as "any country". 

Foreign commuters residing no more than 30 km from the Hungarian border are allowed entry into the country for periods of no more than 24 hours.

Foreign travelers in transit are also allowed entry into the country if they can certify their destinations and reasons for travel. They must remain on designated travel routes and must leave the country within 24 hours.

The decree stipulates that Hungarians returning from abroad must go into a mandatory 14-day quarantine. The quarantine may be lifted only after the arrival produces two negative COVID-19 tests taken at least 48 hours apart.