Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic to mutually open borders

FILE PHOTO: Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto attends a news conference at the Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, Brazil October 8, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic will open their borders to each others’ citizens from midnight on Tuesday, with some conditions, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in a statement.

Cross-border travel without having to undergo mandatory quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic will be allowed for Hungarians, Slovaks and Czechs whose stay in the other country does not exceed 48 hours.

In addition, Hungarians can travel to the Czech Republic by crossing Slovakia but cannot cross Slovakia on their way back; they will have to detour through Austria, Szijjarto said. The same applies to Czechs returning home from Hungary. Hungary had also opened its southern border for Serbs from Monday morning.

Hungary escaped the first wave of the pandemic with a total of 3,771 cases and 499 deaths as of Tuesday, fairly low numbers due to an early and strict lockdown, which the government has been easing since early May.

Reporting by Krisztina Than, editing by Larry King