EC urges Hungary to reverse the decision to close borders

EC urges Hungary to reverse the decision to close borders

It violates the integrity of the Schengen area, the European Commission said
The Hungarian authorities must reverse the decision to close the country’s borders due to the coronavirus, as it violates the integrity of the Schengen area. This was announced on Tuesday by the European Commissioner for Internal Affairs Ilva Johansson.

“Today (The European Commissioner for Justice and Rule of Law) Didier Reynders and I send a letter to the Hungarian government reminding them of the importance of the integrity of the Schengen Area and the application of border measures in a non-discriminatory manner to all EU citizens and residents. Any measures that do not comply with these fundamental principles of EU law, of course, should be immediately abolished,” she said.

According to her, the European Commission will soon contact its Hungarian counterparts to request additional information on the decision to close the borders.

The Hungarian Government has decided to resume border protection measures to combat the spread of coronavirus from 1 September. Since that day, foreign nationals have been banned from entering Hungary for no reason. Exceptions will be made only for military convoys, humanitarian aid, business travel, and diplomats. Hungarian citizens will have to self-isolate themselves after their return for 14 days or until they provide two negative tests for coronavirus. At the same time on Monday evening, Hungarian Foreign and Foreign Relations Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Facebook that citizens of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, who had previously booked a tour of the country, would be able to enter Hungary. They will be required to provide a certificate with a negative result of the COVID-19 test issued no later than five days before arriving in the country.

EU member states, on the recommendation of the European Commission, closed their internal borders in March due to the coronavirus pandemic but reopened after 15 June. Since then, the European Commission has strongly opposed the closure of internal borders.

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