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Travel restrictions extended again

Please note that by adopting Gov. Decree No. 469/2020 (X.29.) the Hungarian Government has extended the travel restrictions and border control again until 1 December 2020.
Entry to the country shall remain to be subject to restrictions or otherwise allowed only in exceptional cases in line with the previous communications.
Should there be any change concerning the travel restrictions or entry to the country, we will provide further information.

Should you have any questions regarding the above, feel free to contact us.


Entry ban on travel to Hungary in force until 1 November

The Hungarian Government has introduced new travel restrictions with regard to the coronavirus pandemic, which regulate entry into Hungary from 1 September 2020.

The restrictions do not apply to border crossing by freight traffic or with an official passport, and for those who can prove they have contracted COVID-19 within six months prior to the border crossing.

Hungarian citizens and foreign nationals with equivalent status must submit to a possible medical examination upon entry, followed by a ten day mandatory quarantine. Exemption from quarantine may be granted after two negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests.
Non-Hungarian citizens cannot enter Hungary using passenger traffic. There are exceptions from this general rule regarding business and economic purpose travel, commuters, travellers passing through Hungary, military convoys, and sports and cultural events.
The relevant police authority may also authorise entry into Hungary upon request of the foreign national for certain personal and official reasons defined in the legislation. The rules regarding possible medical
examination upon entry, mandatory quarantine and the conditions for exemption from quarantine also apply.

On 1 October the ban was extended to 1 November.



The new entry ban on travel to Hungary: what does it mean?

The Hungarian Government has introduced new travel restrictions in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. The Decree on travel restrictions during the epidemiological preparedness period (Decree no. 408/2020. (VIII. 30.), the ‘Decree’) regulates entry into Hungary from 1 September 2020 to 1 October 2020.
1. Hungarian citizens and foreign nationals with equivalent status
These individuals can enter Hungary with a private passport or other travel document entitling them to entry, and must submit to a medical examination upon entry. They will, however, be quarantined in any event. Where will depend on whether or they show signs of infection during the border check: if the individual has symptoms, s/he must quarantine in a designated public institution, if not, s/he must quarantine for a 14-day period at home.

2. Exemption from quarantine
Upon request of the quarantined person, the appropriate epidemiological authority may allow him/her to take a SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests two times within five days, at least 48 hours apart.
If the results are negative, the epidemiological authority ordering the quarantine will give an exemption from quarantine.
In this case, the costs of the two negative PCR tests required for the exemption will be borne by the individual. The cost is EUR 100 for each test, and EUR 10 as the general fee for the exemption decision.

3. Labour law implications of returning to Hungary from abroad
Under the legal provisions in question, a person who is in officially ordered home quarantine due to private travel abroad shall not be considered incapacitated for work. This means s/he will not be entitled to benefits payable to incapacitated employees for the duration of the quarantine.
If it is possible to employ the employee from home either in his/her own job or in another job the employee should be paid a wage. However, if this is not possible, the employee’s absence from work will be considered justified unpaid absence.

4. Cases of incapacity for work
If the home quarantine was not ordered due to return from a private trip, but the employee is banned from working for public health reasons or is officially isolated for public health reasons
(designated quarantine), or cannot come to work due to an epidemiological or veterinary quarantine, and cannot be even temporarily employed at a different workplace (or in a different job), then s/he will be considered incapacitated and entitled to benefits for incapacitated employees.
It is important to note, that the Decree does not apply to:
– border crossing by freight traffic;
– border crossing with an official passport; and
– a person who, upon entry into Hungary, provides credible proof that s/he has contracted COVID-19 within six months prior to the date of the border crossing.

5. Entry of foreign nationals into Hungary
Non-Hungarian citizens cannot enter the territory of Hungary using passenger traffic. The following are exceptions from the general rule above:
– A chief executive officer or an employee of a domestic company or a company incorporated in any state which is in a business relationship (under the relevant tax legislation) with another company registered in any other state may enter Hungary without restrictions, provided s/he provides evidence of the business purpose of travel.
– The government will allow Czech, Polish and Slovak citizens to enter with a negative test within five days, but it is expected that at the request of other states, several countries may be granted a concession for the entry of their nationals for tourist purposes.

6. Commuters
Citizens of Hungary or neighbouring states living within a 30km radius of the state border may enter the territory of the other state within a 30km radius of the state border without restrictions and stay there for a maximum period of 24 hours.

7. Persons passing through Hungary
Foreign nationals can enter Hungary For transit purposes, if they submit to a health examination upon entry and this examination does not raise suspicion of infection.

8. Official exemption from the entry ban upon request
Upon request, the relevant police authority can authorise entry if the requesting party proves that the purpose of entry is, inter alia:
– participation in court or official proceedings;
– business activity or other work activity which is justified by a letter of invitation from a central governmental body, an independent regulatory body or an autonomous public administration body;
– travel using passenger traffic in connection with work related to a transport activity, the purpose of which is to reach the place of departure of the transport task (place of commencement of work), or returning after this work, if evidenced by a certificate issued by the employer;
– access to health care, participation in certain family events, or for other reasonable reasons;
These individuals must submit to a medical examination on entry to Hungary, and
– if infection is suspected: will not be granted entry;
– if infection is not suspected: must quarantine for 14 days.


Statement of the EDPB on data processing during the coronavirus epidemic

The European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) has issued a statement on its website on data processing during the coronavirus epidemic.Please find our summary of the statement below:
1. The conditions of processing health data, as special category of data shall be specified by the national law in accordance with the GDPR. In this regard, the GDPR requires that the lawmaker defines specific measures and the suitable safeguards of the rights of the data subjects.

2. As per the position of the Hungarian Data Protection Authority emphasized, in the event of medical examinations such as body temperature measurement, this safeguard is the presence of a healthcare professional, therefore it is still not possible to implement such measurement at the workplace without the presence of a professional.

3. According to the EDPB’s position, the employers should inform employees if a coronavirus infected person has been identified at the workplace (to take the necessary protective measures), without revealing the identity of said person. The concerned employees shall be informed in advance and their dignity and shall be protected. Information on the infection should be first and foremost disclosed to those entitled to process these data, such as authorities and treating physicians if requested.

As the GDPR allows for a wide range of derogations in national law, we can expect a more detailed regulation of the data processing in relation to the epidemic.

The content of this article is not exhaustive and does not constitute a legal advice. Should you have any specific questions regarding any issues investigated by our articles, please contact us and we will be happy to be at your disposal.



The Hungarian Data Protection Authority („HDPA”, „Authority”) has issued on its website a briefing regarding data processing related to the coronavirus epidemic, also including certain general legal obligations beyond data protection. We have summarized the most important details as follows:
1. It is not only a vital interest but also a legal obligation of employers to provide a healthy and safe workplace.

2. Prior to any data processing, employers may be expected to create an epidemic action plan (preventive measures, allowing alternative working conditions (“home office”), procedure to be followed if the infection appears, assignment of responsible personnel within the company, implementation of a reporting system).

3. As a preventive measure within the action plan, it is recommended to provide employees with all necessary details, especially on the most critical information on the coronavirus (rules of hygiene, symptoms, who to report to within the company). The document titled “Procedure regarding the novel coronavirus identified in the year 2020” published on the website of the National Public Health Center could provide helpful for employers when wording the information.

4. According to the Labour Code, the employees shall report to the employer if they have knowledge of a risk of infection, including the risk of their own illness. With regards to this, the reporting system shall be implemented in a way that allows for confidential processing of data.

5. In the event of a report or suspicion of infection the HDPA considers filling out a questionnaire appropriate. Particular attention shall be paid to data minimisation. Employers shall not process the data of the suspected employee related to the epidemic beyond the questionnaire. The Authority specifically notes that data related to medical history or medical documentation shall not be requested or processed by the employer!

6. It needs to be emphasized that the employer shall not begin contact investigation, this should be entrusted with the investigating authority having jurisdiction!

7. Also important to note, the employer shall not conduct medical examination (i.e. use of thermometer), however, the professional examination of employees may be initiated through the involvement of healthcare professionals (first and foremost the company doctor).

8. The legal ground for the above data processing is based on the employer’s legitimate interest, if the medical examination of employees becomes necessary, the exceptional purpose of processing shall be in the interest of providing a healthy workplace.

9. It is recommended for employers to favour measures that do not result in the processing of data (following basic hygiene, providing disinfectants, proper cleaning). We would also like to note that the legislation does not allow for employers to distribute vitamins, medicine or immune-boosting products, etc. among its employees, therefore these are not legally possible as a preventive measure.