Arrivals from Hungary might soon be exempt from quarantine

It is highly likely that starting June 15, people who travel to Romania from Hungary will not have to go into compulsory home isolation. Nevertheless, if they plan to go back to Hungary, they would still have to face mandatory home quarantine there. After a meeting with members of the Orban government, Romanian president Klaus Iohannis announced on Tuesday that they have contemplated easing entry conditions. The proposed condition is the following: People arriving from abroad would not have to go into home isolation if they are coming from a country where, in the past couple of weeks, the average number of newly diagnosed coronavirus cases is not higher than five per day per one million inhabitants.

“Unfortunately, several countries where many Romanians live – such as Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands – do not currently meet this criterion,” noted Iohannis. He also added that authorities are constantly following pandemic reports within the European Union (EU), and “as soon as things start to move in the right direction,” Romania will immediately act accordingly.

The Romanian government duly noted that in Hungary the number of those infected with coronavirus has been constantly decreasing: As of the beginning of June, the highest number of diagnosed cases was 29 per day, and only 12 new COVID-19 patients were registered this past Thursday, reported Krónika. The number of daily new infections per one million inhabitants is currently around 1.5.

However, Romanian citizens – except for those in transit – are still obliged to comply with the 14-day mandatory home quarantine if they plan to stay in Hungary. According to international criteria, having a population of about 20 million, the average number daily infections registered in the past two weeks in Romania should be under 100, but this number went under 150 for only a few days, and on Thursday and Friday, there were well above 200 newly diagnosed cases.

Hungary has already eased entry conditions for Hungarian citizens arriving from several countries. Hungarians can enter without having to go into quarantine if arriving from the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia and Serbia. As of Friday, there is no home isolation needed for Hungarians arriving from Croatia either.

The Hungarian Operational Group for the Protection against the Coronavirus Pandemic emphasized at a Thursday press briefing that their members are constantly analyzing epidemiological data recorded in the neighboring countries and their measures taken, and, if justifiable, they will propose further easing of restrictions.

In the meantime, the European Commission has requested governments of the Schengen states to remove all border-crossing limitations within the Schengen area without exception as of June 15; Romania is not a Schengen-area member yet. Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, stated at a press conference that travel restrictions for people arriving from non-EU states will be lifted only gradually and partially, and this process has to happen in a synchronized manner within the European community.

Title image: Romanians still have to face mandatory home isolation if they plan to stay in Hungary.


Author: Éva Zay