Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Budapest, Hungary, July 17, 2020

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Budapest, Hungary, July 17, 2020 

Location: Hungary 

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. 

International commercial flight options currently exist in Hungary. U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States should make commercial arrangements as soon as possible unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. The U.S. government has no plans to arrange repatriation flights in Hungary at this time.  Please enroll in STEP and provide your name and contact information to our email address: HungaryUSCitizen@state.gov so we can contact you as soon as we have any updates. 

Country-Specific Information

  • Hungary has 4293 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders. Number of deceased: 595.
  • For official up-to-date information about COVID-19 related restrictions and regulations, please visit: https://koronavirus.gov.hu/.  English language information is available at http://abouthungary.hu/news-in-brief/coronavirus-heres-the-latest/
  • General rule is that physical distancing of one and a half meters is to be kept, and face masks – or mask-like substitutes (scarves, shawls, etc.) – are mandatory when shopping, on public transport, and in taxis.
  • Public areas, parks, shops, shopping malls, and markets are open.
  • Restaurants, cafés, bars, and hotels are open, but employees are expected to wear face masks.
  • Cultural institutions, such as libraries, museums, zoos, cinemas, and theaters are open.
  • Universities may be open provided that physical distancing is observed, but the rector has the ultimate right to decide. Visiting student residences is still prohibited.
  • Open-air cultural and sporting events (e.g. open-air theater, cinema, circus, exhibition, literary event) can be attended in accordance with epidemiological rules. Spectators may occupy only one in four seats, shall not sit directly behind each other and shall have a safety distance of at least 1.5 meters between them. An outdoor event is a program that takes place for the entire duration outside a walled, covered building on all sides, or during which spectators are protected by a tent (such as a circus tent) due to the weather, or those that are enclosed by a wall built for the event or take place in an uncovered or partially covered facility (e.g. stadium, swimming pool, outdoor stage, outdoor cinema).
  • Mass events of more than 500 people are banned. Worship services can be held, and civil marriages and funerals can also be held at a protective distance. Family events and weddings of less than 200 people can be held.
  • Budapest’s Liszt Ferenc airport is open.
    Covid-19 information for passengers is available at https://www.bud.hu/en/covid_19.
    For departing passengers with cancelled flights, travelers should check carrier schedules for the latest updates and work directly with the carrier or travel agent to arrange or reschedule travel.
  • The U.S. Embassy in Budapest is currently offering limited appointments for some American Citizens services, to include passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad.  Please refer to our U.S. Citizen Services page (https://hu.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/) for an appointment.  Passport processing in the United States remains slow.  In case you need to travel to the U.S. in the next seven days please come to the Embassy to submit an application for an emergency passport. Official hours for emergency passport applications: Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 9:30 am.  No appointment is necessary.  Visa applicants with interview appointments scheduled in the next 30 days should refer to the following website for more information: http://cdn.ustraveldocs.com/hu/.      

Entering Hungary

As of July 15, 2020, the Government of Hungary introduces entry restrictions.  Countries are classified into “red”, “yellow” and “green” categories, based on the severity of the COVID situation in each.

  • Hungarian citizens and their relatives can enter Hungary from a “green” country without a health check. A Hungarian citizen coming from a “yellow” or “red” country will be subjected to health checks at the border and must be quarantined for 14 days. An exception to this is if they can credibly show two negative coronavirus tests 48 hours apart in the previous 5 days. A Hungarian citizen coming from a “yellow” country may be released from quarantine after the first negative coronavirus test, but if coming from a “red” country, two negative tests are required.
  • In the case of non-Hungarian citizens, those coming from a “yellow” country can enter under the same conditions as Hungarian citizens, but it is not possible to enter Hungary from a “red” country.
  • “Red” Countries: Republic of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Belarus, Republic of Kosovo, Republic of Northern Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Ukraine, all African countries, all Asian countries, except for Japan and the People’s Republic of China, all countries belonging to the Australian continent, and most countries on the American continent.
  • “Yellow” Countries: Bulgaria, United Kingdom, Norway, Russian Federation, Portugal, Romania, Republic of Serbia, Kingdom of Sweden, Japan, People’s Republic of China, United States of America.
  • “Green” Countries: Countries that did not receive a yellow or red classification are green.
  • The Government of Hungary will regularly review the classification of countries, and will adjust it to possible changes in the COVID situation.
  • Transit and freight traffic are exempt but will have to follow an officially designated corridor. At the same time, health examinations may be carried out if needed.
  • See details with a map of Europe here:
    http://abouthungary.hu/news-in-brief/government-introduces-new-international-travel-restrictions/
  • Information about testing requirements:
    http://abouthungary.hu/news-in-brief/chief-medical-officer-is-continuously-monitoring-epidemic-situation-abroad-as-well/
  • A list of countries by category is available at:
    https://magyarkozlony.hu/dokumentumok/c5f7b3f6959f8e2f23dd5a96a3817d28db9e2213/megtekintes (in Hungarian)
  • Humanitarian corridors:  Foreign citizens arriving from abroad in passenger traffic to transit can enter Hungary if they undergo a medical check upon entry and such a check does not reveal the suspicion of infection.  Please check the Hungarian Police’s website for details: http://www.police.hu/en/content/humanitarian-corridor
  • Exception Requests: Foreigners may make a request an exception and entry permit with supporting documents on the National Police website. See https://ugyintezes.police.hu/web/guest/uj-ugy-inditasa/(in Hungarian only)       

Entering the United States

Travel restrictions barring entry to the U.S. from the Schengen Zone do not apply to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents and some family members of U.S. citizens, including any prospective adoptee who is seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications. For further information about the exceptions and the most current information regarding COVID-19, the March 11 and March 14 Presidential Proclamations, and its impact on travel to the United States, please visit www.coronavirus.govwww.dhs.gov/coronavirus and www.whitehouse.gov/. 

Transportation Information

U.S. citizens who are considering returning to the United States should work with their airlines to make travel arrangements while flights are still available. In case commercial transportation options cease to be available, we are compiling a list of persons seeking to leave Hungary. Please enroll in STEP at https://step.state.gov/ and provide your name and contact information to our email address: HungaryUSCitizen@state.gov so we can contact you as soon as we have any updates.

Your email message should include the following information:

  • Your full name as spelled in your passport.
  • Information we can use to contact you now – a current phone number and email address.
  • Your date of birth (MM/DD/YYYY).
  • Your passport number, and its date of issuance and expiration. If it is not a U.S. passport, please note the country that issued it. Please also note any non-U.S. citizen immediate family members traveling with you.
  • Please note your current location (city and country) and any special needs you may have, such as medical issues.

For the latest information regarding flights departing Budapest, please visit the airport’s website which is updated continuously. 

Quarantine Information

There are individuals who have been quarantined in Hungary as precautionary measure due to the possibility they may be infected.
The Hungarian government has stated that if such individuals remain symptom-free for more than two weeks they can be released.
 

Local Resources

The Hungarian government has created a public hotline for individuals to talk to infectious disease specialists about COVID-19: 06-80-277-455 and 06-80-277-456. Please note that this hotline is offered in Hungarian only.

Other links