by Katalin Pearman, Honorary Consul
Current COVID-19 information from the US Embassy in Budapest
Last updated: January 25, 2021
Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.
The Department of State’s current Travel Advisory for Hungary is Level 3: Reconsider Travel. If you are in the U.S. and plan to visit Hungary, please refer to https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html.
International commercial flight options currently exist in Hungary. U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States should make commercial arrangements as soon as possible unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. The U.S. government has no plans to arrange repatriation flights in Hungary at this time.
- U.S. Embassy Budapest Alerts and Messages for U.S. citizens
- American Citizen Services Contact Information:
during official hours (workdays 8AM-5PM CET) – Phone: (36-1) 475-4164;
Emergency calls after hours and on weekends/holidays – for U.S. citizens only: (36-1) 475-4400. An Embassy Duty Officer will be on call to handle emergencies.
- Budapest Airport Information:
English – COVID-related information
Hungarian – COVID-related information
Social Media: Facebook (in Hungarian) – Twitter (in English)
Airlines – listing of all airlines with contact information and links to their websites and social media sites
- Hungary has 360,418 cases of COVID-19 within its borders. Number of deceased: 12,024.
- For official up-to-date information about COVID-19 related restrictions and regulations, please visit: https://koronavirus.gov.hu/. English language information is available at http://abouthungary.hu/news-in-brief/coronavirus-heres-the-latest/
- As of November 4, a state of emergency went into effect.
- As of November 5, a partial curfew is in effect. As of November 11, the curfew is extended. From 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. everybody is required to stay indoors, whether at home, at a temporary home, or an accommodation. The only exceptions are for commuting to and from work, and in case of health needs or health emergencies.
- General rule is that physical distancing of one and a half meters is to be kept, and face masks – only medical and textile masks that cover the nose and mouth are accepted – are mandatory when shopping, on public transport, in taxis, at public transport stations, waiting rooms and stops, in hospitals, social institutions, doctors’ offices, in shopping malls, and also in public spaces in municipalities with over 10,000 inhabitants. In the latter case, the government has authorized mayors to determine in which public spaces it is mandatory to wear a mask. The regulation applies to everybody, with the exception of children under six. Those who breach the rule will be fined or excluded from travel. In cases of resistance, police can be summoned.
- Public areas, parks, shops, shopping malls, and markets are open. Shops, hairdressers, and private industry service providers must close at 7 p.m.
- Restaurants, cafés, bars, and clubs are closed. Only take-out and delivery service is permitted. Factory canteens may be open.
- Hotels can only receive guests travelling for business purposes, not for tourism.
- Leisure facilities will be closed, including museums, theatres, gyms, swimming pools, cinemas and zoos.
- Higher education will go online, dorms and residences will also have to close. All teaching above the eighth grade will be online. Nurseries, kindergartens and primary schools will remain open to those under 14.
- Visits to health care and social care institutions are banned.
- From October, schools and kindergartens can only be entered after the body temperature has been measured. The feverish child must be separated, and the parent or guardian must be notified immediately.
- Hospital workers, teachers, kindergarten staff and nursery workers will be tested on a weekly, targeted basis, even if such quick tests are only 50-60% accurate.
- All gatherings are prohibited.
- All events are banned. Sports matches may only take place in empty stadiums. Outdoor amateur team sports are prohibited. Individual sports activities are permitted.
- No more than 10 people can attend a family gathering or private event. Minors under 14 are exceptions from this limitation. Funerals can be attended by up to 50 people at a time. At weddings only the witnesses, parents and siblings may attend the ceremony and receptions are banned.
- Budapest’s Liszt Ferenc airport is open.
Covid-19 information for passengers is available at https://www.bud.hu/en/covid_19.
For departing passengers with cancelled flights, travelers should check carrier schedules for the latest updates and work directly with the carrier or travel agent to arrange or reschedule travel.
- The U.S. Embassy in Budapest offers appointments for some American Citizens services, to include passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad. Please refer to our U.S. Citizen Services page (https://hu.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/) for an appointment. In case you need to travel to the U.S. in the next seven days please come to the Embassy to submit an application for an emergency passport. Official hours for emergency passport applications: Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 9:30 am. No appointment is necessary. Visa applicants with interview appointments scheduled in the next 30 days should refer to the following website for more information: http://cdn.ustraveldocs.com/hu/.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
- Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Generally no, with limited exceptions.
- Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? No.
- Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes.
As a general rule, only Hungarian citizens and their relatives can enter Hungary.
- Beginning on September 1, the GOH instituted a COVID-19 entry control scheme, which bans the entry of most foreigners. The decree does not apply to diplomatic or official travel, freight travel, or to anyone who can demonstrate a COVID infection in the last six months. This restriction is in effect until rescinded by the GOH. All those entering Hungary are subject to a mandatory 10-day quarantine. Treatment similar to a Hungarian citizen is granted to family members of Hungarians, those with residency status, sports competitors, and cultural event participants. There are additional exceptions for military convoys, business purposes, cross border workers, sporting events, and for those transiting Hungary along designated corridors. Additionally, a special exception can be requested through the Hungarian national police. That process and some of the accepted justifications can be found at http://www.police.hu/en/content/information-on-general-rules-of-border-crossing. Additional information regarding border crossings and wait times can be found at http://www.police.hu/hirek-es-informaciok/hatarinfo.
- Arrivals in Hungary must tell border police where they will fulfill their quarantine obligations. If they have a suitable device, they must download the dedicated quarantine software with which police can check the observance of official home quarantine. If on-site checks cannot be carried out in any other way, those in quarantine must allow police to enter their home.
- Additional information regarding COVID-19 in Hungary can be found here: http://abouthungary.hu/news-in-brief/coronavirus-heres-the-latest/
- Is a curfew in place? Yes. From 8:00 pm to 5:00 am.
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No.
- Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes.
A 10-day quarantine is currently required for all international arrivals. Travelers may be exempted from such quarantine if they attest with a document containing the results of two SARS-CoV-2 tests (molecular biology examination in compliance with professional medical practice) performed in Hungary at two different times with at least 48 hours between them that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was not detected in their body at the time of the tests. However, it is also acceptable if the first of the two tests is performed in one of the Schengen countries, the United States of America or Canada.
- Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Hungary? Yes
- If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes
The following providers can be contacted regarding COVID-19 tests (official regulated price of one test is 19,500 HUF):
- First Med Center: Prices and detailed descriptions in this link: https://firstmedcenters.com/cov19test/. Address: 1015 Budapest, Hattyú utca 14, 5th floor, Hattyúház. Phone: +36-1-224-9090
- Rozsakert Medical Center: Phone: +36 1 392 0505; Email: email@example.com; Address: 1026 Budapest, Gábor Áron street 74-78.
– Budapest, Centrum-Lab (SYNLAB-csoport tagja) Mammut Bevásárlóközpont 4. emelet., Mammut Shopping mall, 4th floor; Sample taking every day (Mon-Fri, from 12:00), Appointments by phone +36 1 5 888 500.
– Budapest 2. kerület, Budagyöngye Magánvérvételi Hely; Sampling: Monday, Tuesday, Wed 11.00 – 12.00; Appointment must be requested by phone: +36 70 285 4542.
-Budapest 13. kerület, Váci Corner Magánvérvételi Hely; Hours: Mon-Fri 12.00 – 14.00. Appointment by phone +36 1 5 888 500; Sampling in the order of arrival, in the lab container located in the parking lot.
– O street Budapest 6th district, Address: 1066 Budapest, Ó utca 44; Hours: Mon-Fri 12.00 – 15.00. Appointment by phone +36 1 5 888 500.
- Affidea Magyarorszag KFT.: Váci Greens Egészségközpont, 1138 Budapest, Föveny u. 4-6; Hours: 8:00-10:00; Appointment by phone: +36-1 8036464
COVID-19 Vaccine Information:
- Has the government of Hungary approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? Yes
- The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.
- Link to government information/announcements about local availability of the COVID-19 vaccine is available at: https://koronavirus.gov.hu/,
- Further COVID vaccine information from the National Public Health Institute is available at https://www.nnk.gov.hu/
- Information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 vaccination
- Are commercial flights operating? Yes.
- Is public transportation operating? Yes.
Masks are required on all public transport.
U.S. citizens who are considering returning to the United States should work with their airlines to make travel arrangements while flights are still available. In case commercial transportation options cease to be available, we are compiling a list of persons seeking to leave Hungary. Please enroll in STEP at https://step.state.gov/ and provide your name and contact information to our email address: HungaryUSCitizen@state.gov so we can contact you as soon as we have any updates.
Your email message should include the following information:
- Your full name as spelled in your passport.
- Information we can use to contact you now – a current phone number and email address.
- Your date of birth (MM/DD/YYYY).
- Your passport number, and its date of issuance and expiration. If it is not a U.S. passport, please note the country that issued it. Please also note any non-U.S. citizen immediate family members traveling with you.
- Please note your current location (city and country) and any special needs you may have, such as medical issues.
For the latest information regarding flights departing Budapest, please visit the airport’s website which is updated continuously.
Fines for Non-Compliance:
Hungarian authorities can impose civil violation fines for non-compliance with current rules regarding quarantines and mask-wearing requirements, such as on public transportation.
- As of November 16, 2020, only emergency American Citizen Services are available at the U.S. Embassy in Budapest. All previously scheduled appointments are cancelled. In case you need to travel to the U.S. in the next two weeks, please contact the Consular Section for an appointment, at +36-1-475-4164, or email ACS.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- As of November 16, 2020 the United States Embassy in Budapest is cancelling routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments. We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. The MRV fee is valid and may be used for a visa application in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment. If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please contact the Visa Services call center at +36(0)17012000, or email to email@example.com.
Entering the United States:
Travel restrictions barring entry to the U.S. from the Schengen Zone do not apply to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents and some family members of U.S. citizens, including any prospective adoptee who is seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications. For further information about the exceptions and the most current information regarding COVID-19, the March 11 and March 14 Presidential Proclamations, and its impact on travel to the United States, please visit www.coronavirus.gov, www.dhs.gov/coronavirus and www.whitehouse.gov/.
As of July 15, the United States Embassy in Budapest is resuming certain immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services, including: IR-1/CR-1, IR-2/CR-2 immigrant categories, as well as F (student) and certain categories of J Exchange Visitor non-immigrant visas. While the U.S. Embassy in Budapest aims to process cases as soon as practicable, there is likely to be increased wait times for completing such services due to substantial backlogs. The MRV fee is valid and may be used to schedule an interview appointment in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment. If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at https://ustraveldocs.com/hu/hu-niv-expeditedappointment.asp to request an emergency appointment.
Applicants for H1B, H2B, H4, L and certain J categories covered by Presidential Proclamation 10052 should request an appointment only if you have reason to believe you may qualify for one of the exceptions listed in the Proclamation here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspending-entry-aliens-present-risk-u-s-labor-market-following-coronavirus-outbreak/.
Entry of non-Legal Permanent Resident foreign nationals who were present in the People’s Republic of China, not including the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland or the 26 countries that comprise the Schengen Zone within 14 days prior to their arrival at the port of entry in the United States is suspended, per Presidential Proclamation. The full text of the Presidential Proclamation can be found here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-certain-additional-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-2019-novel-coronavirus/.
The Hungarian government has created a public hotline for individuals to talk to infectious disease specialists about COVID-19: 06-80-277-455 and 06-80-277-456. Please note that this hotline is offered in Hungarian only.
- Hungarian Government’s page: https://koronavirus.gov.hu/
- COVID-19-Related On-line Information Sources in Hungary