On Friday, May 28, Hungarian authorities announced the reopening of the border with Slovenia for all purposes, without limitations or the need for a period of quarantine, following a decrease in cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Czechia and Slovakia also agreed to reopen their common borders and those with Hungary on May 28, allowing their citizens to stay in one another's countries for stays of up to 48 hours without the requirement for a quarantine period. On Monday, May 25, restrictions on the Hungarian-Serbian border were lifted, with all restrictions and the 14-day quarantine requirement removed. Entry from Austria for all purposes has also been permitted since May 22, provided arrivals present a document showing a negative COVID-19 test result. On May 21, officials announced the reopening of all border crossings with Romania, permitting Romanian citizens to transit via Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD) without the required 14-day quarantine period. While Budapest International Airport remains open, only Hungarian citizens and permanent residents of the European Economic Area (EEA) are permitted to enter the county.
Hungarian authorities began lifting COVID-19 restrictions in Budapest on May 18. Restaurants and cafes have been permitted to reopen their terraces and shops in the capital have reopened. Additionally, public parks, swimming pools and baths, and the city zoo have reopened to the public. It is mandatory for all individuals to wear face masks in shops and on public transport, and social distancing measures will continue in establishments. A designated three-hour window for individuals over the age of 65 will remain in place at pharmacies and grocery shops. The lifting of measures in Budapest followed the easing restrictions outside of the capital and in its outskirts on April 30. Schools will reportedly remain closed across the country, until at least the end of May.
As of Friday, May 29, there have been 3841 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hungary and 517 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.
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