The 195th, 195th and 201th of the 2020 issue of the Hungarian Gazette have published several Government measures related to the epidemiological situation. The most important are the following.
- On the temporary reintroduction of border control
The Hungarian Government, pursuant to the 407/2020. (VIII. 30.) Government Decree considering the existence of a serious threat to public order and internal security in Hungary, temporarily reintroduced border control at the entire internal border pursuant to Article 2 (1) of Regulation (EU) 2016/399 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on the Union Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders.
The Government Decree has entered into force on 1 September 2020 and shall expire on 1 October 2020.
- Travel restrictions during the epidemiological preparedness period
The 408/2020 (VIII.30.) Government Decree on travel restrictions during the epidemiological preparedness period deals with the most important restrictions in the following breakdown.
- As a general rule, the scope of the Government Decree covers non-official border crossings with a private passport and other travel documents. For the application of the Government Decree, it is subject to the same treatment as a Hungarian citizen
- who is entitled to permanent residence in Hungary and a family member, if he / she proves this right with a document, or
- who has a valid residence permit issued by the Immigration Authority for a period exceeding 90 days, entitling him/her to stay in the territory of Hungary, and presents the relevant document upon entry,
- who is a competitor or sports professional of a Hungarian sports organization according to the Sports Act, if he/she enters the territory of Hungary after participating in an international sports event held abroad,
- who is a person participating in an international sports event held abroad by an invitation or delegation issued by a Hungarian sports organization – issued by name – if he/she enters the territory of Hungary after participating in an international sports event held abroad.
The scope of the Decree does not cover (i) border crossing in freight traffic, (ii) crossing the border with an official passport pursuant to 6 / A. § (2) Act XII of 1998 on travel abroad, and (iii) a person who, upon entry into Hungary, credibly proves that he or she has already suffered COVID-19 (infection) within 6 months prior to the date of application for crossing the border.
For the purposes of this Decree, crossing the border for official purposes is the crossing the border for an official purposes with private passport or other travel documents.
- According to the rules for the entry of Hungarian citizens into Hungary, a Hungarian citizen arriving from abroad or a family member of a Hungarian citizen who does not have Hungarian citizenship (hereinafter together: Hungarian citizen) may undergo a medical examination when entering Hungary (save for any exceptions, set out in an Act or Government Decree) which he/she is obliged to tolerate. If, in the case of a Hungarian citizen, the medical examination reveals a suspicion of infection, he/she shall be placed in quarantine designated by the competent epidemiological authority or, if – it does not pose an epidemiological risk – in official home quarantine.
- If, in the case of a Hungarian citizen, the medical examination does not establish a suspicion of infection, and
- the Hungarian citizen has a permanent residence or place of residence in Hungary, under official house quarantine for 14 days,
- the Hungarian citizen not living abroad does not have a permanent residence or place of residence in Hungary, for 14 days in quarantine designated by the competent epidemiological authority,
- the Hungarian citizen living abroad does not have a residence or stay in Hungary, will be placed in quarantine designated by the competent epidemiological authority or official home quarantine for 14 days.
- At the request of a quarantined person as described above, the competent epidemiological authority may allow the quarantined person to take part in a SARS-CoV-2 PCR test twice within 5 days, at least 48 hours apart, during which, if the tests confirm that the virus was not detectable in the body of the quarantined person at the time of the inspection, the competent epidemiological authority shall grant an exemption from the provision requiring quarantine.
The Decree allows the first test to be carried out in the territory of a Schengen country, and the United States or Canada and the result can be certified by a document in Hungarian or English.
To the best of our knowledge, the costs of carrying out the tests are not supported by the Government, they must be borne by those concerned.
- As a general rule, non-Hungarian citizens may not enter the territory of Hungary in passenger traffic (save for the exceptions, specified by Act or Government Decree). The competent police authority may grant an exemption from this strict provision on request. The police authority may grant exception and allow entry if the applicant proves that the purpose of entry is:
- a) participation in a procedural act related to court or official proceedings in Hungary, certified by a document issued by the given institution,
- b) participation in health care with a referral from a health care institution or other appropriate certificate,
- c) fulfilment of the obligation to study or examine on the basis of the student or pupil status, if this is approved by a certificate issued by the educational institution,
- d) travel in passenger transport concerning work performed in connection with a transport activity, the purpose of which is to reach the starting point of the transport (place of commencement of work) or to return home in passenger traffic after such work, if evidenced by a certificate issued by the employer,
- e) participation in family events (marriage, christening, funeral),
- f) care of a relative pursuant to Act V of 2013 on the Civil Code,
- g) participation in a sporting, cultural or spiritual event of major international importance, or
- h) an equitable reason other than points (a) to (g).
- The above application may (i) be submitted only electronically in Hungarian or English, or (ii) submitted by a legal representative or a proxy indicated in a power of attorney included in a private document of full probative value. If the entry takes place at the same time and with the same reason, an authorized representative may submit an application on behalf of several persons, if the authorization of the persons concerned is attached. In the case of crossing the border for the same reason and in the same time, it is sufficient to submit one application for close relatives living in the same household as the applicant.
In order to prove the validity of the application, the original copy of the document certifying the validity of the application must be presented by the person (licensee) exempted from the entry ban upon entering the territory of Hungary at the request of the police officer. If the licensee does not present the original of the document proving the substantiation, or its authenticity is questionable at the time of entry, entry shall be refused.
- The application will be rejected by the police if (i) there is doubt about the purpose of the entry as described above, or (ii) the entry is risky for (a) epidemiological, (b) public security or (c) national security reasons. Ministerial guidelines or official practices regarding these latter phrases are not yet known at the time of writing.
- Upon entering Hungary, the permit applicant may undergo a medical examination, which he or she is obliged to tolerate. Anyone who is suspected of being infected by a medical examination may not enter the territory of Hungary. Any person who is not suspected of being infected during the health inspection shall be placed in quarantine or official home quarantine designated by the competent epidemiological authority for 14 days. From quarantine, the above 2.2.2. exemption may be granted in accordance with the same procedure as set out therein.
- Pursuant to the rules on travel between affiliated companies, a person coming from abroad may enter the territory of Hungary without restriction from the territory of the states specified by the Minister of the Interior if the following conditions are met:
- a) a director or employee of a domestic company or a company incorporated in one of the states designated by the Minister of the Interior,
- b) with which another registered company is in a affiliated relationship in at least one of the states specified by the Minister of the Interior responsible for public security pursuant to § 4. Clause 23 of Act LXXXI of 1996 on Corporate Tax and Dividend Tax.
- Pursuant to the 33/2020 (VIII. 30.) Decree of the Ministry of the Interior on the relevant business travel between affiliated companies, in force since 1 September 2020, the Minister of the Interior provided that a person arriving from the territory of any state within the framework of the above-mentioned business trip may enter the territory of Hungary.
- Entry without restriction as described above may take place if the traveller, in addition to the conditions set out in paragraph 2.4 above – confirms the probability of a business trip. A ministerial, legislative resolution or official practice is not yet known at the time of writing this summary, however, according to the more widely used business practice, the purpose of the business trip can be certified by a written and signed invitation letter and/or a declaration setting out the most important elements of the business trip (eg: object/purpose/location of the business activity, planned meeting/operation. date of project visit/tour, number of the decision of the governing body on the project/business (possibly short content), etc.) in Hungarian, signed by the director (s) / board of directors of the company operating in Hungary. It is expedient to confirm the existence of the affiliated relationship between the companies concerned in accordance with § 4. Clause 23 of the Act LXXXI of 1996.
- In case of the frontier workers the Government Decree set forth that citizens of neighbouring states determined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Hungarian citizens living there can enter in the territory of Hungary for a period not exceeding 24 hours and within a distance of 30 kilometres from the state border. People being in the territory of Hungary according to above shall stay within the 30 kilometres zone of Hungary from the state border, and shall leave the territory of Hungary in 24 hours after the entry.
Hungarian citizens living in the neighbourhood of the countries determined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs according to above, in the 30 kilometres zone of the territory of Hungary from the state border, can enter from the neighbouring states without any restriction, if the duration of their stay in abroad did not exceed the 24 hours and they did not leave the 30 kilometres zone from the state border in that neighbouring state.
- For travelling with business or economic purpose, the decree contains the following rules:
- If a Hungarian citizen travelling abroad can certify at the time of the entry in the territory in Hungary that he / she comes back from a trip made with a business or economic purpose, the Hungarian citizen can enter the territory of Hungary without any restriction.
- In case a non-Hungarian citizen entering into Hungary can certify, that he / she enters in the territory of the country for business or economic activities, he / she can enter the territory of Hungary without any restriction.
If any doubt arises regarding the certification of the business or economic purpose, then Section 2.3. (the general rules for non-Hungarian citizens to enter into the country) shall prevail.
- Based on the rules concerning to the people travelling through Hungary (persons in transit), a not Hungarian citizen coming from abroad can enter in the territory of Hungary in passenger transportation for transit, if he /she undergoes a medical examination upon entry and the medical examination does not establish a suspicion of infection.
- An additional condition for entry for the above purposes is that a non-Hungarian citizen coming from abroad (i) shall have the entering conditions set out in Schengen Borders Code, (ii) shall certify credibly the purpose of the trip and the aim country of the trip, and that (iii) the entry into the aim country and to this end, entry into the state neighbouring Hungary on the route of the planned trip is ensured.
- The national police chief will determine and publish the road border crossing points for the entry and exit of transit traffic, the route of transit traffic, the resting places and the time frame available for leaving Hungary on the official website of the police. A not Hungarian citizen coming from abroad and entering according the above can only travel on a route determined above during transit through the territory of Hungary and can stop solely for the reason strictly necessary for the passage – i.e.: especially for health or technical reasons – at the resting places determined by the national police chief and shall leave the territory of Hungary within the exact time frame, but within 24 hours at the most. An exception to this is stopping in a technical or medical emergency requiring immediate intervention.
- The Government Decree contains rules also concerning the epidemiological data management. According to these, the competent epidemiological authority registers the people placed in designated quarantine and official home quarantine.
The Government appoints the police as well as a public health administration (i) to comply with the rules on epidemiological restrictions, (ii) for the purpose of registration of persons subject to epidemiological segregation, epidemiological surveillance, epidemiological closure and epidemiological restrictions, and (iii) for the purpose of registration of persons at risk from public health and epidemiology, and of persons, who have been in contact with such a person and who are therefore at risk from public health and epidemiological point of view.
In case the police asks, the data controller – in order to fulfil the epidemiological authority tasks of the police – forwards to the police immediately and free of charge – with priority compared to its other data transmission obligations – the personal data processed according to Section 5 (3) of Act XLVII 1997 on the processing and protection of health data and personal data related to them.
According to the Act CLIV 1997 on health, or in case of ordering official home quarantine, the competent epidemiological authority forwards the decision about the epidemiological isolation, epidemiological surveillance, epidemiological closure and epidemiological restriction for the police with priority (i.e.: out of turn) in order the police to be able to fulfil its controlling tasks.
The police registers the data determined above in order to control the compliance with the rules of epidemiological control and official home quarantine. No data may be entered in the register, which is not necessary for the controlling of the compliance of the rules of epidemiological control and official home quarantine. The data being in the register shall be deleted at the time of termination of the official home quarantine, epidemiological isolation, epidemiological surveillance, epidemiological closure and end of epidemiological restriction.
- According to transitional provisions and provisions for entry into force
- The following constitutes a safeguard measure in the adaptation of the breach of a safeguard measure infringement determined in Section 239/A (1) of Act II 2012 on infringements
- the medical examination determined in Section 2.2 above,
- the presentation of the original copy of the document certifying the validity of the request in Section 2.3.1 above upon entry the territory of Hungary,
- the medical examination determined in Section 2.3.3 above,
- presentation of a document confirming that the travel is of business nature in accordance with the rules on travel between affiliated undertakings set out in Section 2.4 above,
- the territory and time-limits set out in Section 2.5 above concerning the frontier workers,
- the provisions regarding the transit people set out in Section 2.6
- Government Decree 419/2020 (IX.1.) sets out lighter rules for Visegrad Countries, as follows:
- A Hungarian citizen and a non-Hungarian relative of the Hungarian citizen can get a waiver from quarantine, (i) if they enter in the territory of Hungary from the Czech Republic, Poland, or from Slovakia (ii) and had an accommodation booked in these countries before the publication of the government decree (1 September 2020), (iii) and had one negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test made once after the arrival.
- A Czech, Polish and Slovakian citizen can get a waiver from quarantine during the entry into Hungary, who certify (i) that he / she has an accommodation booked until 30 September 2020, (ii) which was booked before the government decree entered into force, (iii) and had one negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test in 5 days prior the entering.
It is important to emphasize that the above rules may change/tighten in the forthcoming period, as a result of other government measures, depending on the latest development of the epidemiological situation.
 23. * ‘affiliated company’ shall mean:
- a) * the taxpayer and the person in which the taxpayer has a majority control – whether directly or indirectly – according to the provisions of the Civil Code;
- b) the taxpayer and the person that has majority control in the taxpayer – whether directly or indirectly – according to the provisions of the Civil Code;
- c) * the taxpayer and another person if a third party has majority control in both the taxpayer and such other person – whether directly or indirectly – according to the provisions of the Civil Code, where any close relative holding a majority control in the taxpayer and the other person shall be recognized as third parties;
- d) * a nonresident entrepreneur and its domestic place of business and the business establishments of the nonresident entrepreneur, furthermore, the domestic place of business of a nonresident entrepreneur and the person who maintains the relationship defined under Paragraphs a)-c) with the nonresident entrepreneur;
- e) * the taxpayer and its foreign branch, and the taxpayer’s foreign branch and the person who maintains the relationship defined under Paragraphs a)-c) with the taxpayer;
- f) * the taxpayer and other person if between them dominating influence is exercised relating to business and financial policy having regard to the equivalence of management;
- g) * Paragraphs a)-c) notwithstanding, affiliation shall be considered to exist
- ga) for the purposes of Point 11, Point 53, Paragraph f) of Subsection (1) of Section 8 and Section 16/A even if the taxpayer holds directly or indirectly a participation in terms of voting rights or capital ownership of 25 per cent or more or is entitled to receive 25 per cent or more of the profits in an entity, with the proviso that for the purposes of these provisions compliance with Paragraph f) shall not be taken into account,
- gb) for the purposes of Section 16/B even if the taxpayer holds directly or indirectly a participation in terms of voting rights or capital ownership of 50 per cent or more or is entitled to receive 50 per cent or more of the profits in an entity, with the proviso that having regard to participation in terms of voting rights or capital ownership the influence of persons acting in concert shall count together and in the case of taxpayers within a consolidated group of companies for financial accounting purposes Paragraph f) shall be taken into account;