The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peter Sigarto, announced that Hungary had opened its borders to vaccinated Russian citizens.
After these changes, travelers from Russia can enter the country by presenting a valid COVID-19 immunity certificate, TheSchengen.com reports.
This easing of entry restrictions responds to Russia’s recent decision to start issuing tourist and business visas again to Hungarian citizens who can submit a negative PCR test for coronavirus.
“Hungary has always been a popular destination for Russians, and the fact that vaccinated Russian tourists can visit Hungary again will help this sector tremendously,” Minister Szijjártó said.
He also said that this decision was taken based on the principle of reciprocity and aims to help the country’s tourism sector, which is greatly affected by the coronavirus situation.
According to the European statistics provider, EUROSTAT, the number of tourists absorbed across the EU member states decreased by 61 percent from April 2020 to March 2021, accounting for 1.1 billion tourists lost, compared to 2.8 billion in 2019.
EUROSTAT data reveals that Hungary suffered a nearly 90 percent drop in the number of overnight accommodations, while the domestic tourism sector saw a 60 percent drop.
In order to facilitate travel across the European Union for all who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, the Hungarian authorities began issuing certificates of immunity in February.
To ensure safe travel during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the European Union has agreed to a common approach to restrictions on freedom of movement. The traffic light system has been put in place to classify EU countries according to their epidemiological status,” Your Europe, an official EU website, said.
In May, the country reached an agreement with Turkey for mutual recognition of relevant COVID-19 immunity certificates.
Hungary reached the same agreement with Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Bahrain. The Romanian government also recognized certificates of Hungarian immunity. All vaccinated citizens of one of these countries were allowed to enter Hungary for non-essential purposes.
However, the country announced that it will connect to the EUDCC portal by June 15, but due to delays, the country started issuing the EU digital COVID-19 passport on June 30.
The European COVID-19 Digital Passport, which can be issued in paper or digital form, will facilitate travel for individuals who have received a coronavirus vaccine, recovered from the virus, or recently tested negative for the disease. The document can be issued to those who have been vaccinated with EMA approved vaccines such as Comirnaty (BioNTech and Pfizer), Moderna, Vaxzevria (formerly AstraZeneca and Oxford) and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
However, the country recognizes both EMA and WHO approved vaccines such as Gamaleya, CoviShield and Sinopharm and the single vaccine vaccine Convidecia.