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Hungary to close borders to foreigners from September 1

Hungary will close its borders to foreigners, with some exceptions, from September 1 to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Ministerʼs Office, said at a weekly press briefing after a cabinet meeting on Friday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Image by Johanna Poetsch / Shutterstock.com

Gulyás said the measure marks a return to restrictions in place during the initial wave of COVID-19 infections in the spring adding that it was warranted because of the rising number of new cases.

Although the number of new cases is "relatively good" in Hungary, compared to other countries in Europe, they are still high, Gulyás noted.

Exceptions to the ban on entry by foreigners will be made for convoys of soldiers, some business people, some cross-border commuters, transit traffic, and diplomats, he said.

Hungarians returning from abroad after September 1 will be required to produce two negative COVID-19 tests, 48 hours apart, to be exempted from a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Gulyás said the measures are necessary to protect older Hungarians who are most vulnerable to the virus, students returing to physical classrooms on September 1, as well as the economy.