Policy responses for Hungary - HSRM


Policy responses for Hungary

1.3 Isolation and quarantine

Since the 26th of March, the Chief Medical Officer’s decision obliges Hungarian citizens entering the country from abroad to undergo a medical examination upon entering Hungary. Depending on the outcome of the examination, individuals are subjected to different types of quarantine. Those who are suspected of being infected with COVID-19 are placed in designated quarantine facilities. Those who are not suspected of being infected are required to undergo official home quarantine for 14 days at their place of residence or stay [3].

Before the 26th of March, only travellers who returned from countries with a high number of cases (eg. China, Italy, South-Korea, Iran) were required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Self-isolation (home quarantine) is mandatory for any asymptomatic person who has been in close contact with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case during the onset of symptoms and for two days prior to the onset of symptoms [4]. 

People with symptoms are asked to call their GP or the Emergency Ambulance Service instead of visiting health facilities for consultations.

Since 7th of May, individuals who are in mandatory home quarantine can download on voluntary basis a tracking application that shares their location data, photo and health data with the authorities in order for the police to regularly check whether they comply with the quarantine. According to the regulation, the police will check electronically whether the software has been installed. Extraction of location data must not infringe on the privacy of the persons under this electronic surveillance and they are not allowed to be unreasonably disturbed between ten in the evening and six in the morning. If the application data suggests that someone is not observing the rules, the authorities can check on him/her personally. If the home quarantine ends, the software can be deleted, but the data will be retained for another 60 days. If someone does not voluntarily agree to install the software, the police will perform home visits more often to personally check on compliance with home quarantine. [5]

The National Public Health Center published a new procedure on COVID-19 on the 21st of September. An important new element is that people who are asymptomatic but were reached during contact tracing because they were in close contact with a COVID-19 case should remain in home quarantine for 10 days. Based on the new guidance, the quarantine for these individuals cannot end after two negative PCR tests [6], which is a change from the previous situation.

The PCR test is mandatory after the 10 day quarantine for asymptomatic close contacts who are working in the health care sector or are working/living in long term care institutions.

From the 21st of September Hungarian nationals returning to Hungary from abroad in passenger traffic are now required to retire to compulsory home quarantine or designated quarantine for 10 days instead of the earlier 14. Non-Hungarian nationals are also required to retire to quarantine (more details in section 6)  [7].

Hungary has lifted COVID-related restrictions on business travellers entering the country from 13 states. The government website states that citizens, or those holding a residency permit and travelling on business, from the United States, China, Russia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine, Singapore, Bahrain or the United Arab Emirates will be allowed into Hungary without restrictions.

The foreign minister and the interior minister are also compiling a list of countries from which Hungarian citizens travelling on business will be able to return to Hungary without restrictions. [8]

[3] https://koronavirus.gov.hu/cikkek/az-orszagos-tisztifoorvos-tilto-es-kotelezo-hatarozata-jarvanyugyi-helyzetre-tekintettel
[4] https://www.nnk.gov.hu/attachments/article/541/COVID19_elkulonites_megfigyeles_EMMI_20200312.pdf
[5] https://index.hu/belfold/2020/05/05/koronavirus_magyarorszagon_hazi_karanten_nyomkoveto_magyar_kozlony/
[6] https://www.nnk.gov.hu/attachments/article/567/Elj%C3%A1r%C3%A1srend_09.21_.pdf
[7] https://www.kormany.hu/en/news/persons-returning-from-abroad-face-ten-day-quarantine
[8] http://abouthungary.hu/news-in-brief/coronavirus-heres-the-latest/