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March updates on pandemic related regulations in Hungary

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March updates on pandemic related regulations in Hungary

Last updated on 7 March 2022.

As the fifth wave of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic seems to be passing, restrictions are again relaxed starting from next week. Most importantly, wearing a mask will be no longer required, while employers’ right to demand vaccination is being revoked. Read on for the details.

The following was based on statements at the press conference on 3 March 2022, but has been updated based on the official decree published on 4 March.

Wearing a mask is no longer obligatory

Wearing a mask has been obligatory in enclosed spaces where there are regularly more than 5 people. This included not only hospitals and social facilities, but also shops, restaurants, night clubs, shopping malls and office buildings as well as public transport and all waiting areas (even open air ones). Starting from 7 March, Monday, however, wearing a mask is not mandatory anymore. However, it still makes sense to wear a mask in crowded spaces, as in public transport, or where you are are bound to meet more vulnerable people, such as in hospitals or in nursing homes.

Vaccination campaign every weekend

The vaccination campaign started in January continues in March as well. On every Thursday (2 pm – 6 pm), Friday (2 pm – 6 pm), and Saturday (10 am – 6 pm), you can get vaccinated at designation vaccination centers without registration or making an appointment. However, please note that this applies only to adults and children above 12 years of age; children aged 5-11 years still need an appointment.

You can see the list of locations here. Everyone is welcome whether it is their first or fourth dose – as now you can get a fourth dose (meaning a second booster) if at least 4 months have passed since the previous one. Of course, you can still get vaccinated at any vaccination site after getting an appointment online, or from your family doctor.

To make receiving your booster shot easier, it is best to print and fill in the consent form in advance, and take it with you to the vaccination center. There is a different one for adults and children above 12, and children aged 5-11 years.

Employers cannot require vaccination anymore

In October, employers were granted the right to require employees to get vaccinated. Now this right will be revoked, with the exception of healthcare workers, employees of social institutions, and in the defence forces. If someone is currently on an unpaid leave because of the previous regulation, their first day of work should be 1 April the latest.

Immunity certificate no longer required

The immunity certificate will no longer be required for attending events for more than 500 people, which has been the case since last May.

The immunity card itself will be converted into a vaccination certificate as of 1 May 2022 (earlier this was planned to start as of 15 February 2022, but it was postponed to harmonize the regulation with the practice in other EU member states). The old immunity card remains valid, since your status can be checked based on the QR code on the card.

The most important change is that those who received the certificate based on having recovered from the infection will no longer be considered immune. Moreover, you will be considered properly vaccinated only if

  • you have received your third (first booster) dose, or
  • less than 6 months have passed since your second dose (meaning first full round), or
  • more than 6 months have passed since your second dose (meaning first full round), but you got infected before you could have received the booster shot; in this case, your card will be valid for 6 months after the date of your diagnosis.

For minors, only two doses are enough for now (meaning one full round), since their vaccination started later.

State of emergency remains in place

Even though several restrictions are now being relaxed, the state of emergency remains in place for now, at least until 1 June 2022. Previously, the validity of expiring documents was tied to the end of the state of emergency. This changed in January; check here to see until when your documents are valid.

Entering the country and staying in Hungary

The rules introduced in September 2020 (to which various exemptions were added later) have been withdrawn. Now you can travel to Hungary same as before if you have the normally required travel documents.

Because of the war in Ukraine, people from Ukraine can enter under easy conditions, and can register for temporary protection. Read our summary here (available also in Ukrainian and Russian).

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