Despite the advent of vaccines to combat Covid-19 earlier this year, foreign travelers are still not allowed to enter Hungary. The country first closed its borders in September 2020 and today, it continues to ban non-essential travel. However, according to a report by Forbes magazine, athletes partaking in sporting events in the country will be granted entry provided they follow the strict health protocols. They include taking two Covid-19 tests, one before arrival and another after. And, of course, they're required to self-isolate and go on quarantine for a number of days upon their arrival.
With that said, although Hungary remains closed from the outside world, businesses are starting to reopen here. Just last April, various establishments were granted permission to welcome back customers in their outdoor areas only. This, however, will soon change as well. Euronews reports that the Hungarian government plans to issue 'immunity cards' to residents to allow them to go inside indoor establishments and the like. With an immunity card, one can now enter restaurants, bars, spas, cinemas, theaters, gyms, libraries, museums, and even book rooms in hotels and other sorts of accommodations. This comes after the country has had around 40% of the population get their first doses of vaccination.
More than just Hungary's 'immunity cards,' the country, along with other EU member-states, will also get to use the Digital Certificates by June 2021. Introduced back in March, this is a new vaccine passport system that will allow travelers to move freely within the continent. These digital 'passports' will serve as proof that one has been vaccinated, tested negative, or has recovered from Covid-19. For travelers coming from outside the EU, however, do note that the Digital Green Certificates will not serve as alternatives to Schengen Visas and valid passports. All three are needed to travel to the EU if/when borders reopen by summer 2021.
For now, Hungary plans to reopen its borders to only a handful of countries. Earlier this month, Hungary’s foreign affairs minister, Peter Szijjarto announced that the country has entered into bilateral agreements with Serbia and Montenegro allowing citizens from said nations to travel to Hungary with no restrictions. As long as they possess their own 'immunity cards,' they won't be required to take Covid-19 tests nor go on quarantine upon arrival. Furthermore, Szijjarto also relayed that the same talks are happening between Hungary and Greece, and Israel as well.