March 17, 2020 / 2:47 PM / 20 days ago

Hungary lets Romanian and Bulgarian citizens stuck in Austria transit: minister

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary will allow a one-off transit of Romanian and Bulgarian citizens stuck in Austria on Tuesday night after their governments requested it, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Tuesday.

They will have to take a designated transit route.

Hungary shut its borders to foreign travellers from Tuesday and is allowing only Hungarian citizens to enter the country. There was a 20-km (12 miles) queue at the Hegyeshalom border crossing on the Austrian border on Tuesday, with cars and trucks waiting to enter Hungary.

“We expect Austrian authorities to maintain order on the Austrian side of the border and allow Hungarian citizens and freight traffic to use the border crossing,” Szijjarto said.

The government said Bulgarian nationals who travel home through Romania can transit Hungary between 2000 GMT and 2300 GMT via the corridor kept open for freight traffic, while Romanian nationals can use the route between 2000 GMT and 0400 GMT on Wednesday morning.

There are thousands of workers returning from Western Europe to Romania and Bulgaria.

Hungary has registered 50 coronavirus infections, one of whom has died. The government has said that in coming days there would be cluster infections, not just individual cases as the virus spreads.

Reporting by Krisztina Than and Marton Dunai; Editing by Alex Richardson

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