AFP, Daily Sabah, July 2, 2020
Hungary will not comply with a European Union recommendation to lift coronavirus travel restrictions for more countries outside the bloc, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Thursday, citing a risk to health.
The 27-member EU finalized Tuesday the list of countries where coronavirus infections were seen to be low enough to allow their citizens to enter the bloc starting Wednesday.
“We cannot currently implement the EU’s request to allow in citizens from non-EU countries, with the exception of Serbia,” Orban said in a Facebook video message.
Hungary reopened the border with neighboring Serbia, which has a large ethnic-Hungarian population, in May.
But lifting travel restrictions to more nations outside the EU “would go against the health care interests of the Hungarian people,” Orban said.
Hungary’s population of almost 10 million has been lightly affected by the pandemic in comparison with other parts of Europe, reporting just over 4,100 coronavirus infections and around 590 deaths so far.