Tourists in Hungary

Every year in the last 6, I have been in Hungary in my vacation. I use my time to learn some Hungarian language.
Now, I got my ticket to September 4th. But I receive some news that as American I can not go. I already got my two vaccine doses. Someone know something if I can or no go?

CESAR DESOUZA wrote:

Every year in the last 6, I have been in Hungary in my vacation. I use my time to learn some Hungarian language.
Now, I got my ticket to September 4th. But I receive some news that as American I can not go. I already got my two vaccine doses. Someone know something if I can or no go?

Why not ask your embassy here - US Embassy HU?

I'm afraid it doesn't look good right now for US visitors but come September we could all be an entirely different COVID world.

Thanks for the advise. I already did it. But I felt more confusing. Fortunately, today I received an email from State Department (STEPS program) saying Hungary now is Level 2. This way I feel more rested. Thank you.

"Level 2" only concerns US advice about travel to Hungary.

As to Hungary's rules, note this important exception from the US embassy website:

"As of July 1, 2021, except in the case of entry by aircraft or from Ukraine, entry into Hungary from Croatia, Austria, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia, regardless of nationality or protection against the coronavirus, is possible without epidemiological restrictions, but providing other general conditions of entry (such as valid travel documents) is necessary."

That is, it sounds like borders with neighboring countries are open largely as usual. Anyone actually crossed since July 1?

zif wrote:

"Level 2" only concerns US advice about travel to Hungary.

As to Hungary's rules, note this important exception from the US embassy website:

"As of July 1, 2021, except in the case of entry by aircraft or from Ukraine, entry into Hungary from Croatia, Austria, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia, regardless of nationality or protection against the coronavirus, is possible without epidemiological restrictions, but providing other general conditions of entry (such as valid travel documents) is necessary."

That is, it sounds like borders with neighboring countries are open largely as usual. Anyone actually crossed since July 1?

Interesting - got a link to that quote? 

What about the other way?  Hungary to Austria?   

We were planning to go to SCS (Shopping CIty Sud - the mega mall outside Vienna) on a day trip.

It's right on the US embassy page you linked to!

Oh I didn't read all of it. My mind wandered away after about the first couple of paragraphs as it doesn't apply to me.  Case of TLDR. 

That style of presentation is just so dull.  And people have to search for the answer to their specific question.   

Should be like a flow chart so you can come to the right answer applicable to your particular situation.

Planning for September? long way away, things change very very quickly, now we are in a relaxed period and we made use of it. (including a trip to Asia)
Still, I believe that the Corona thing will explode again (honestly also due to people who did not take it on their own choice (many have no choice though and I am sad for that).
As for me and my wife (we took Sputnik) we will have to take a third jab (likely to be Pfizer) in September.
I believe that with the right docs you can even come from the US, go for a medical treatment for example.

If we can go to Kyrgyzstan (and return), it is difficult for me to believe that you can not come from the US, the world is flexible.

Now only July situation in Hungary and eg Germany is good no new variants (apart from Delta and Lambda) but things will get worse. We feel quite protected BUT...

As a general remark I have to say even if your documentation is fully in order (green card, proof of vaccination and dates, even taking a (luckily negative) PCR test on the return trip it is not so easy as one might think. (also with a positive test and rules changing in the meantime).
If only going for pleasure, leave it, but for family visits it is great timing in my view (until Sep/Oct).
Your financial means must be OK if you go every year.
By the way relatives (and possible health situations) can also be an argument I would think.

But remember the US accepts rapid as well as PCR test.

From the US Embassy Vienna website:

"Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes. As of June 24, 2021, residents of the United States are permitted to enter Austria, unless traveling from a high-risk virus-variant country from which entry is banned."

"Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine?  It depends on where they are traveling from and their vaccination status. 

Those who are fully vaccinated, as well as those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 6 months, do not need to quarantine unless they have recently traveled to a virus-variant area.

Travelers from virus-variant areas are required to quarantine for 10 days. Quarantine can be ended  by a negative COVID test taken no less than 5 days after arrival."

At the moment, virus-variant areas are 
Botswana, Brazil, Eswatini, India, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Which suggests that at this time at least, Vienna may indeed make a convenient backdoor to Hungary. Though be aware of the quarantine risk if the US joins the UK on the Austrian variant blacklist.

https://at.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

Hungary is opening up to vaccinated Russian tourists starting next week.

https://hungarytoday.hu/hungary-russia- … rtificate/

zif wrote:

Hungary is opening up to vaccinated Russian tourists starting next week.

https://hungarytoday.hu/hungary-russia- … rtificate/

UK is also recognising EU vaccine certificates from Monday  0400h UK time.   This means no quarantine.

Unfortunately it means a lateral flow test before arrival and a PCR test on the 2nd day. That alone will add 30 - 40K HUF to a journey costs. 

I saw immediate changes in the flight schedules with previously suspended flights suddenly becoming available at lower cost.  Should be an increase in tourists to here and everywhere EU.

The UK is also going to be letting vaccinated Americans in without quarantine, though probably with some testing.

zif wrote:

The UK is also going to be letting vaccinated Americans in without quarantine, though probably with some testing.

Yes, saw that.   Be a minimum of a lateral flow test plus PCR on day 2 into the UK.   Seems a bit much to need a PCR on day 2.  Here in HU I am hearing, PCR tests are now about HUF 15K as some competition bites.

The US to Europe travel is not being reciprocated as of yesterday though but I suppose it will be eventually.  The airlines are really pressuring governments - some of them might collapse.  Those transatlantic routes and transit routes into Europe and vice versa are hugely profitable for the airlines.  Couple of years ago, planes were leaving/arriving for/from the US every few minutes it seems.

I am quite surprised how suddenly capacity and availability on routes into and out of Hungary was made available. I was monitoring it through various web sites.

According to this report, as of August 7 citizens of most foreign countries, whether vaccinated or not, can enter Hungary by air with a negative 72-hour PCR test. As well, overland entry without restriction from Ukraine is now possible, on the same basis as entry from other neighboring countries.

https://hungarytoday.hu/hungary-travel- … pcr-tests/

zif wrote:

According to this report, as of August 7 citizens of most foreign countries, whether vaccinated or not, can enter Hungary by air with a negative 72-hour PCR test. As well, overland entry without restriction from Ukraine is now possible, on the same basis as entry from other neighboring countries.

https://hungarytoday.hu/hungary-travel- … pcr-tests/

This is good news.    If only other countries could see the light.

BTW, we're hearing from our kids teachers that there may be restrictions reimposed in September if a next wave is serious  Means kids at home again for more online school.

Today while waiting for our connection to our doctor's home office we met up with 2 young tourists.
They both came up to us to ask for some aid.
No biggie as we just missed the bus and had to wait 30 mins for the next one out.
One young man was from the UK but lived in Fullerton, Ca.( I told him to watch ,"The Fullerton Informer" on U tube.)
The next person was a young lady from Portugal who missed her bus at 8 am and had to wait until 4 pm for the next one out to Croatia.
On her way to  a music event there.
She was surprized when my husband told her our age, did that after I told her he was at Ca. Jam and I just missed Altamont. Neither event did she ever hear of, talk about feeling old!
She told us we had a young energy coming from us, nice, I'll take that compliment!
I am taking a shot in the dark, I suspect they both had their jabs to be able to enter here into Hungary.
We felt bad for both of them, each only had a day in Budapest and the young lady had luggage with her and another nearly 6 hours to wait on her connection.

Marilyn Tassy wrote:

Today while waiting for our connection to our doctor's home office we met up with 2 young tourists.
They both came up to us to ask for some aid.
No biggie as we just missed the bus and had to wait 30 mins for the next one out.
One young man was from the UK but lived in Fullerton, Ca.( I told him to watch ,"The Fullerton Informer" on U tube.)
The next person was a young lady from Portugal who missed her bus at 8 am and had to wait until 4 pm for the next one out to Croatia.
On her way to  a music event there.
She was surprized when my husband told her our age, did that after I told her he was at Ca. Jam and I just missed Altamont. Neither event did she ever hear of, talk about feeling old!
She told us we had a young energy coming from us, nice, I'll take that compliment!
I am taking a shot in the dark, I suspect they both had their jabs to be able to enter here into Hungary.
We felt bad for both of them, each only had a day in Budapest and the young lady had luggage with her and another nearly 6 hours to wait on her connection.

Seems like the flow of tourists is continuing.  It'll stop in September.

During the Pride march, No. 1 Fluffyette met a guy from Argentina who lived in the UK and was on his way to Berlin on some exchange visit.   Must have been fully jabbed. He spent just two nights in Budapest, saw the Pride march and joined in and they got talking.  No. 1 Fluffyette took him to the castle district to show him around.

One of my American friends was able to enter Bulgaria and Romania with no problem at all.   The problems he reported with this test and that test were all "Western" country related.

We're planning to go to Austria next week if the rules aren't a hassle. Won't go if there any tests. It'll be my first trip outside the country in a year.  I wonder what will happen on the border in either direction. Coming into Hungary will be OK but going into Austria, no real idea.

Send me some young energy please.  My knees feel like they've rusted up!

Sounds nice to take a short trip somewhere.
So far we are fine just hanging around in Hungary.
I've never really enjoyed traveling , funny thing my zodiac sign is suppose to be a huge world traveler who can't sit still for a moment.
That parts true but I ususlly just run around in circles, don't need to phyically go anywhere.
I was about to ask that young lady frm Portugal what bands were palying in Croatia but thought the better of it, I'm sure I never heard of any of them.
I remember , not sure why I've forgotten it ( must of had such a good time it was erased from my memeory)my sister, husband myself and maybe others? went to the US Festival in S. Ca. plus some other events in which Fleetwod Mac and Rod Stewart played. The US event had Tom Petty and of course without even thinking I'd guess Santana played, they always seem to play at all these concerts. I am so tired of hearing Black Magic Women. Think we still have the program from that event in storeage.
I liked Tom Petty, too bad he checked out on us.
I felt sorry for the young man asking about how to get into the city center as he only had one day here. My husband showed him the way to the subway line and gave him some ideas. Then my husband was helping the young lady, she was looking for a locker for her luggage. Not sure the bus station has those or not.
The young man needed to use the WC, we were standing right there but I didn't bring even one frint with me and he had no change , costs 200F in the station too use the WC. I felt bad, brought my big bag with me but it was full of water bottles, not money. I told him to go find a tree and he walked off ...
They should have public WC's in stations without having to pay.

I am going September 4th. I’m missing Hungary 🇭🇺.

If I'm reading the latest news correctly, my two doses of Pfizer are extremely strong protection against serious illness or death.

But they aren't too strong protection against a very mild or asymptomatic case that would trigger a positive test result for weeks maybe even months thereafter. When traveling that would be a disaster because you couldn't move on so long as you're testing positive and might be quarantined to boot.

So in looking at Hungary as a current destination, Covid prevalence becomes important even when vaccinated. And my impression looking at various statistics is that Hungary is among the safer places to be at the moment: Covid cases seem relatively low.

My question: is that borne out by the situation on the ground, bearing in mind that statistics are sometimes not wholly reliable.

Certainly not all cases are caught, I fully agree and statistics are probably far too low, but that is the case for all countries I think, I am really anxious to see what happens in autumn (especially as we intend to move (having sold our house provisionally).
We have had two Sputniks, but plan to take an additional Pfizer shortly. I think when having received a jab, one is relatively safe, BUT ...

The American CDC has France and Greece and Spain for example in Level 4, the "Very High" risk group, the highest level.

But Hungary is way down there in Level I "Low," the lowest level. Poland, Romania and Slovakia are the only other European countries in this level.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nc … tices.html

zif wrote:

If I'm reading the latest news correctly, my two doses of Pfizer are extremely strong protection against serious illness or death.

But they aren't too strong protection against a very mild or asymptomatic case that would trigger a positive test result for weeks maybe even months thereafter. When traveling that would be a disaster because you couldn't move on so long as you're testing positive and might be quarantined to boot.

So in looking at Hungary as a current destination, Covid prevalence becomes important even when vaccinated. And my impression looking at various statistics is that Hungary is among the safer places to be at the moment: Covid cases seem relatively low.

My question: is that borne out by the situation on the ground, bearing in mind that statistics are sometimes not wholly reliable.

There are statistics on various web  sites showing the situation in Hungary.  These are probably truthful depending on which web site you look at - sometimes hard to separate spin in Hungary.   

Best to choose an independent view - our world in data is trustworthy and properly organised.   Their sources are verified reports from government agencies.

Day to day, it's pretty much normal activities with some exceptions here and there.   We don't know anyone who has had any real problem after being vaccinated.

BTW, There are recent reports that the efficacy of vaccines decline over time.

Oh oh. The EU is considering again banning Americans. Of course if they do, it would as before be only a recommendation; each country would still make its own rules. I suspect Croatia in particular would decide to remain open.

It's possible too that this is just a feint to push America to relax its ban on non-Americans flying in from Europe. The Biden administration though is occupied with other things at the moment.

https://m.independent.ie/business/world … 87810.html

zif wrote:

Oh oh. The EU is considering again banning Americans. Of course if they do this, it would as before be only a recommendation; each country would still make its own rules. I suspect Croatia in particular would decide to remain open.

It's possible too that this is just a feint to push America to relax its ban on non-Americans flying in from Europe. The Biden administration though is occupied with other things at the moment.

https://m.independent.ie/business/world … 87810.html

It's become a bit absurd all over with these restrictions, especially for the fully jabbed.  For the unjabbed, they should stay at home. 

I travelled to the UK on Wednesday and I have had to jump through hoops to do it and it cost me money. 

With the hassle, people just won't be interested anyway. Why bother? Especially for tourism.  Works both ways of course.  Europeans won't want to go to the US and US folk won't want to come to Europe.  Meh.

I thought Biden was Winston Churchill compared to that clown Trump but now it seems Joe has messed it up big time.  It's now even more of a crisis that it was before and the Russians and Chinese are rubbing their hands in glee.   Mess of his own making.  Maybe we should not mention Biden ever again.

"I thought Biden was Winston Churchill . . ."

At Gallipoli, perhaps.

zif wrote:

"I thought Biden was Winston Churchill . . ."

At Gallipoli, perhaps.

Biden is kind of weird.  We never saw this side of him before.  He seems to be under pressure but he also seems incredibly sure - even arrogant - in this position.  I am not sure what to make of him now. 

Obviously he's playing for domestic politics and essentially saying he doesn't care about his international partners.   There's going to be some serious readjustments amongst NATO allies. I cannot see the allies backing up the US over say, Taiwan. I am not even sure Biden would do anything at all if China did invade that island.     

People are now saying Afghanistan will be forgotten in the USA within 6 months.

Looks like the EU has decided to recommend some sort of ban on Americans, though the details are vague. Hopefully it'll only affect the unvaccinated.

[link under review]

I am so sick and tired of it all now.

SimCityAT wrote:

I am so sick and tired of it all now.

You are not alone.  I've just tested myself using a "home" PCR test for "day 2" testing here in the UK. 

The instructions say that if you gag while swabbing, you're doing it right.  Charming.

It ain't pleasant to do swab your own nostrils and tonsils. I don't know how people can even see their own tonsils never mind swab them. It's impossible to hold a torch, hold something to keep your tongue down and swab away.

It's COVID theatre.

fluffy2560 wrote:
SimCityAT wrote:

I am so sick and tired of it all now.

You are not alone.  I've just tested myself using a "home" PCR test for "day 2" testing here in the UK. 

The instructions say that if you gag while swabbing, you're doing it right.  Charming.

It ain't pleasant to do swab your own nostrils and tonsils. I don't know how people can even see their own tonsils never mind swab them. It's impossible to hold a torch, hold something to keep your tongue down and swab away.

It's COVID theatre.

I don't have any tonsils, had them taken out at the age of 5 :D

Mr Fluffy

Did you have any trouble travelling back to the UK?

SimCityAT wrote:

Mr Fluffy

Did you have any trouble travelling back to the UK?

It was certainly hassle.  Relatively expensive. And a bit dumb too.   I will post a summary in the COVID19 and Expatriation thread.

The EU has announced its recommendation that member states ban non-essential travel there by Americans.

But according to the New York Times -- which headlines its story "E. U. Proposes New Travel Restrictions on Unvaccinated U.S. Visitors" -- "If enforced, the new restrictions would apply to unvaccinated travelers only."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/30/worl … urope.html

zif wrote:

The EU has announced its recommendation that member states ban non-essential travel there by Americans.

But according to the New York Times -- which headlines its story "E. U. Proposes New Travel Restrictions on Unvaccinated U.S. Visitors" -- "If enforced, the new restrictions would apply to unvaccinated travelers only."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/30/worl … urope.html

I think it's reciprocal.  As soon as US lifts bans, EU would too.   Bit of tit-for-tat.

But so long as vaccinated Americans can travel to Europe, there's little tit-for-tat pressure. First because the U.S. wants to encourage vaccination and limiting European travel to the vaccinated encourages vaccination. Second I suspect most American travelers to Europe are vaccinated these days in any event.

Here's an official EU Twitter which confirms vaccinated persons aren't included in the recommended ban.

[link under review]

zif wrote:

But so long as vaccinated Americans can travel to Europe, there's little tit-for-tat pressure. First because the U.S. wants to encourage vaccination and limiting European travel to the vaccinated encourages vaccination. Second I suspect most American travelers to Europe are vaccinated these days in any event.

Here's an official EU Twitter which confirms vaccinated persons aren't included in the recommended ban.....

Makes sense.  I see the non-vaccinated as the anomaly.  Airlines probably wouldn't even let them on the plane.  Really makes no sense to remain unvaccinated. 

I don't really follow the US entry requirements but I suppose there's no entry for many citizens (EU or otherwise).    I thought the EU was working on acceptability for vaccines which are common to both blocks.  But it dropped off the news radar with Afghanistan dominating the news.   By the end of next week, Afghanistan will be old news and we'll be back to more "domestic" stuff (wherever your domestic stuff is).

I'm flying into HU on Wednesday and I cannot see any requirements for a test so long as one has an EU certificate for both vaccinations.  Not the same inbound to here (UK) which has onerous and expensive tests.   That kind of thing has to reduce or stop otherwise airlines and airports won't survive.

Actually, while the US has been closed to travelers from Schengen, the UK and Ireland, it's been very open otherwise. Only China, Brazil, South Africa, India and Iran are on the blacklist with Europe. (There have also been restrictions on land crossings but not flights from Canada and Mexico.)

Not having a pan-EU vaccination pass on your phone will be a hassle for Americans. It looks though like the US CDC card can be added to the pass in Germany. Is this possible yet in Hungary?

Finally, note that under the EU recommendation, Americans must be vaccinated with a EU-approved vaccine to enter. This isn't a problem since the three vaccines used in the US are all on the EU list.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nc … tries.html

zif wrote:

Actually, while the US has been closed to travelers from Schengen, the UK and Ireland, it's been very open otherwise. Only China, Brazil, South Africa, India and Iran are on the blacklist with Europe. (There have also been restrictions on land crossings but not flights from Canada and Mexico.)

Not having a pan-EU vaccination pass on your phone will be a hassle for Americans. It looks though like the US CDC card can be added to the pass in Germany. Is this possible yet in Hungary?

Finally, note that under the EU recommendation, Americans must be vaccinated with a EU-approved vaccine to enter. This isn't a problem since the three vaccines used in the US are all on the EU list.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nc … tries.html

I don't know about the CDC cards but there are numerous reports the UK NHS certificate can be taken to the HU Kormany Ablak and an EU certificate issued there for free.   The NHS certificate is barcoded and has various other features to identify the individual and the vaccine used.   Looks quite similar to the HU one but it's much more compact and user friendly (single sheet, not two sheets A4).   The barcode means there is a registration process backing it up which could be enquired to confirm vaccination status.   

BTW, outside of HU, the HU government Immunity Certificate is useless.  No-one understands or knows what it is for.   I could have told them it wouldn't be much use. 

Additionally in the UK there's a vaccination card which is printed with a health (NHS) number and the person's name.  I don't think it says the vaccine type on the card.  It's fairly basic.

Probably they (governments/EU etc) are all having kittens over privacy issues and export of data internationally.   I cannot see that being fixed quickly although they already allow EU-US data transfers for API (Advanced Passenger Information).

CDC card would no doubt come under criticism as some kind of ID card or tracking of the population - Big Brother and all that.   One could think it'll become an entitlement card - some citizens entitled and others not.   It's an area fraught with problems and objections.

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