Hungary’s decree detailing measures to be taken under a state of emergency declared because of the coronavirus re-establishes controls along Hungary’s borders with Slovenia and Austria; prohibits entry into the country by foreign nationals arriving from Italy, China, South Korea and Iran, but orders mandatory self-quarantine for Hungarian nationals arriving from those areas; bans on-site lectures at universities; prohibits in-door events with more than 100 participants and outdoor ones with more than 500; suspends the launch of a state-subsidised foreign language summer study programme abroad for secondary school students by one year; cancels all school trips abroad; and extends the validity of official documents by 15 days from the revocation of the state of emergency. The decree provides for the expulsion from the country of foreign nationals who do not comply with mandatory quarantine. It requires all health-care workers, military and reserve military personnel, police, National Tax and Customs Office (NAV) staff and government administration workers to get a special ministerial permit to leave the country. It also establishes that foreign nationals from European Economic Area countries who have the right to permanent residence in Hungary and can show a permanent residency card are “subject to the same treatment” as Hungarian citizens. The decree is in force from Thursday.
Police will monitor residents’ compliance with home quarantine regulations and local mayors will be responsible for services to people in home isolation, the government website koronavirus.gov.hu said. In line with extraordinary government measures introduced to combat the epidemic, authorities will have the right to oblige potentially infected people to stay in home quarantine, the website said. Hungarian citizens returning from Italy, China, South Korea and Iran must undergo health examination upon entry into Hungary and must stay in home isolation even if they are free of symptoms, it added. People suspected of being infected with the virus will have to stay in quarantine in hospital but even those who are free of symptoms will have to stay in home isolation for 14 days. The health authority will register such persons and police will make sure that they comply with the home quarantine regulations. In line with the newly introduced extraordinary government measures, workers in health-care, law enforcement, the army and public administration are banned from travelling abroad. Ministry staff need special permission to make official trips issued by the minister or prime minister. The Hungarian army will provide support to the police and disaster management authority in carrying out their tasks, it added.