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Extension of protective measures in Hungary

Extension of protective measures applicable during the period of state of emergency

I. According to the Government Decree 27/2021. (I. 29.), the Government has once again declared a state of emergency in the entire territory of Hungary from 8 February 2021, which is expected to last until 23 May 2021 according to the Act I of 2021 on the Prevention of the Coronavirus Pandemic, which entered into force 22 February 2021. During this period, the Government may decide on additional extraordinary measures by decree. 

II. The Government decreed on the extension of protective measures applicable during the state of emergency by Government Decree 80/2021. (II. 22.). Under the Decree, the emergency measures are expected to remain in force until 23 May 2021.

Please note, that depending on the change of the epidemic situation, the state of emergency may be extended by the Government or re-announced at a later date, additional restrictions may be introduced, or certain restrictions may be maintained even after the state of emergency.

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New COVID-19 restrictions in Hungary: consequences for employers

The restrictions (of Gov. Decree 484/2020 (XI. 10.)) apply as of 11 November 2020 for the whole of Hungary, effective until 11 December 2020. These restrictions may be prolonged if necessary.
The current rules concerning wearing masks, social distancing and border crossing remain in effect, while wearing masks is now obligatory in public spaces designated by the local councils in cities exceeding 10,000 inhabitants.

I. Curfew between 20:00 and 5:00 with an exemption regarding going to work

During the curfew, only people going from their homes (place of residence) to work and back home from work can be in public spaces. A sample of the certificate to be issued by the employers can be found on the Government website: https://kormany.hu/hirek/kijarasi-tilalomrol-szolo-igazolas

II. Rules regarding education

Nurseries, kindergartens and primary schools remain open for those under 14 years of age. Online education has been introduced from grade 9 in middle schools and colleges/universities, and dormitories are closed.

III. General ban on events

All events are banned. This also applies to all professional events held in person (conferences, workshops, etc.).

IV. Restrictions on trade and catering

Restaurants are closed and only takeaway and home delivery are allowed, however, factory canteens may remain open. Shops, stores and other services except for pharmacies and petrol stations must close at 19:00, after which only those working there may stay on site. Hotels may only accommodate guests arriving on business, economic or education purposes.

V. Sanctions

In the event of violation of the rules applicable to events or institutions, shops and facilities, the police may close the area, premises or institution (except for educational institutions) for a period of one day to one year and impose a fine of HUF 100,000 to HUF 1,000,000.

VI. Economic protection measures

In order to protect jobs, the Government has also introduced economic protection measures (Decree no. 485/2020. (XI. 10.)), as follows.

1. Tax allowance
For November 2020 employers operating in the scope of activity listed in the Decree shall not need to pay social contributions and vocational training contributions. Small entrepreneurs within the scope of activity listed in the Decree do not need to count personal payments to their small business tax base relating to employees who would have been dismissed due to the state of emergency, provided that these employees are not dismissed and receive their salaries.

2. Provision for hotels
The state will reimburse 80% of the price (net income) of bookings booked for within the next 30 days and received by the hotels registered in the National Tourism Data Providing Centre (Nemzeti Turisztikai Adatszolgáltató Központ) until 8 November 2020, provided that the hotel employees are not dismissed and receive their salaries.

3. Wage subsidies
50% of the wages for November 2020 of the employees of restaurants and leisure facilities listed in the Decree will be reimbursed by the state in the form of a subsidy, provided that the employees are not dismissed and receive their salaries.

The ‘actual main activity’ is the activity which generated the most revenue, which must be at least 30% of the revenue in the previous six months.

There are still many open questions regarding the implementation of the governmental measures described above, we shall provide information on possible further measures after they have been published.

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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.

 

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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.