Joining other countries, Hungary is also enacting travel and quarantine restrictions on people coming from the South African region to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus variant, reports Magyar Hang.
According to a government decree published in the Official Gazette on Saturday, Hungarians returning from the region or those who have visited the area two weeks prior to their arrival will have to spend 14 days in quarantine.
The regulations, taking effect on Monday, cover seven countries: the Republic of Botswana, the Republic of South Africa, the Kingdom of Swaziland, the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Republic of Mozambique, the Republic of Namibia and the Republic of Zimbabwe.
Hungarian citizens arriving home from the region will have to be tested for Covid upon entering Hungarian territory, and will be placed in quarantine at a designated location if they test positive or are suspected of being infected. However, even those who do not test positive for coronavirus will still have to spend 14 days of official quarantine at home.
As a general rule, non-Hungarian citizens from these seven countries will not be allowed to enter Hungary through normal passenger traffic, although there are exceptions for certain situations. In any case, these individuals will still have to undergo 14 days of official in-house quarantine after arrival.
The Council of the European Union discussed on Friday the necessary steps to take to respond to the newly-identified B.1.1.529 “omicron” variant, initially discovered in South Africa. According to a proposal submitted at the meeting, the so-called “emergency brake mechanism” should be applied to people from the South African region. That is, Member States agreed on the need to introduce travel restrictions and ban entry from several countries.
Hungary’s Government Information Center announced on Saturday morning that the country would also restrict air travel in an effort to curb the new spread of the new variant.