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Hungary to End Restrictions at Schengen Border Crossings

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, during a visit to Bratislava yesterday, announced that Hungary will abolish border-crossing restrictions at the internal Schengen border from June 24, reports.

Since September 1, due to the high rates of coronavirus in neighboring countries, Hungary has tightened border crossing rules and closed them to foreigners.

“If the epidemic does not take an unexpected turn for the worse, we can cancel the protection of internal Schengen border crossings,” Sigarto said.

Since May 30, Slovenia and Hungary have removed their control of internal borders, although the latter was on Slovenia’s red list of countries and travelers were subject to a ten-day quarantine requirement upon arrival.

While since June 1, many countries have started implementing COVID-19 passports for free and safe movement amid the pandemic for European countries, Hungary, along with Malta and Finland, still lags behind in this regard.

The countries that have so far started implementing the document are Germany, Croatia, Greece, Iceland, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Countries willing to connect to the EUDCC portal are Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland, Norway, France, Slovenia, Italy, Slovakia, Cyprus, Romania and Malta.

A COVID-19 passport or EU COVID digital certificate is digital proof that a person has been vaccinated against the coronavirus, received negative test results, or recovered from COVID-19.

The main features of the document are that it can be issued in both print and digital format, it has a QR code for verification and it is free of charge. The certificate is also issued in the national language of the issuing country and in English. The document is valid in all EU countries. It also includes information about the card holder such as first and last name, date of birth, and the country of issue.

Anyone who has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with one of the vaccines approved by the European Medical Agency (EMA) can obtain the document. However, countries decide individually which vaccines they want to accept as valid. The document shows the number of doses to be taken, the time and place of vaccination and information on the manufacturer and the exporting country.

Hungary introduced a COVID-19 immunity passport in February, although it sparked controversy among EU countries.

Since May 11, Hungary and Turkey have reached an agreement to recognize each other’s COVID-19 passports, allowing travelers to enter without entry restrictions.

Hungary and Moldova also lifted their entry restrictions from May 31, allowing travelers from each other to enter the country without being quarantined and not obligated to take a PCR or RAT test.

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