By David Chen

It is summer and in normal circumstances, a vacation would be a preferable choice for most people. However, ever since the pandemic outbreak, life is not normal anymore. With the number of infected cases decreasing and increasing across different countries, the question arises, can you travel internationally, and if yes, where can you travel now?

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The answer is yes, you can travel to different countries, however as of right now many countries remain closed to international visitors. As a result, there are only a limited number of places you can visit from Hungary. The safest and nearest countries you can visit now are countries that are a part of the Schengen area. As the number of cases is slowly decreasing in Europe (excluding Russia), it is the safest choice. The Schengen Area is an area comprising of many European countries that have officially abolished all passports and all other types of border control at their mutual borders. The 26 Schengen countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

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But despite that, many countries of the Schengen area are experiencing their second wave, as they are reopening slowly, so it should be advised that you should follow health guidelines to ensure safety from the virus. For example, Spain has experienced some localized spikes, so you should think twice about going there now. Even though many people fear the second wave, most European countries have a plan and have prepared for it, so it should be under control, at least there is a high chance for it.

As of now, the countries you should not and most probably unable to travel is to the United States of America, Brazil, India, and Russia. I would advise not to go to any countries that are in the North and South America, as many countries are experiencing spikes in their number of daily infected cases.

If you want to go to the UK, you will not have to self-isolate when you arrive, if you are traveling or returning from one of the travel corridor countries and have not been to or transferred in a country that’s not on the travel corridor list in the previous 14 days. This applies to all travel to the UK, by train, ferry, coach, air, or any other route. If you have been to or stopped in a country that’s not on the travel corridor list you will have to self-isolate until 14 days have passed since you left that country. Fortunately, Hungary is included in the travel corridor list so you can travel without have been quarantined for 14 days.

As of now, both travels to China and the Middle East are almost impossible for foreigners, and for local citizens, they will have to contact their respective countries embassy for further information.

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Furthermore, the Hungarian government has issued new travel restrictions to prevent the virus from spreading from abroad. The restriction classifies countries into “green”, “yellow” and “red”. If you are returning from a country classified as “green” your free to come back. If you are returning from a “yellow” country, you will need to be quarantined for 14 days or have a single coronavirus test. As for “red” countries, if you are a Hungarian citizen you will need to be tested twice, as for non-Hungarian citizens you will be forbidden to enter.

If you are still unsure about international travel, another option is available for a vacation which is domestic travel. There are several places in Hungary where it is fun and interesting to visit. One of the most famous places in Hungary, Balaton is a huge lake with many places to visit around it, with the hot summer coming it is a good place to do some water sports or water-related activities. Other places you can visit are Eger, Tokaj wine region, Pécs, Szentendre, and a lot more.