The Government of Hungary declared state of danger on 11 March 2020 via Government Decree 40/2020. (III. 11.). The state of danger extends to the entire territory of Hungary for the elimination of the consequences of the human epidemic endangering life and property and causing massive disease outbreaks.
In response to the pandemic situation, DLA Piper Hungary launched a new series called ‘Special Legal Order and the State of Danger in Hungary‘, through which Noémi Radnai and Gábor Papp, legal experts of the firm summarize the special legislation issued during the emergency period.
The series so far explored the basics related to the state of danger and summarized the Government Decrees issued by the Government of Hungary under the state of danger in March, and in the first and the second half of April 2020. The following summary covers the period between 30 April and 14 May 2020 – please note that the below offers a high-level overview rather than a comprehensive summary and cannot be considered legal advice.
1. Government Decree 167/2020 (30 April)
- The local municipalities may specify stricter rules for the restriction of movement for the long weekend of 1-3 May.
2. Government Decree 168/2020 (30 April)
- For the territory of Hungary, except Budapest and Pest County, the restriction of movement shall be lifted.
- In the territories where the restriction is lifted, social distancing rules shall prevail, with the exception of those living in the same household, by keeping interpersonal distance of at least 1.5 meters.
- During shopping in a store or staying on a means of public transportation, everybody shall be obliged to wear mouth and nose covers (medical masks, scarves).
- Persons over 65 years of age are only allowed to visit grocery stores, drugstores, pharmacies between 9-12am. This time slot is reserved for this age group only. Local municipalities may define different rules for markets.
- Stores are permitted to stay open and receive customers. Staying and consuming the ordered food or drink in the garden or on the terrace of a catering facility is permitted.
- Outdoor bathing facilities open-air baths, museums and zoos are permitted to stay open and receive visitors.
- Religious services, civil marriages and funerals are permitted
- Students are permitted to enter higher education institutions in accordance with the respective decision by the rector leading the specific institution. Students are still forbidden to enter student dorms of higher education institutions.
3. Government Decree 169/2020 (30 April)
- The restriction of movement shall be maintained in the territory of Budapest and Pest County.
4. Government Decree 170/2020 (30 April)
- In the entire territory of Hungary, sports events may be held without spectators, behind closed doors. Attendance to trainings organized by sports associations, and amateur, free-time, mass trainings shall be permitted.
5. Government Decree 171/2020 (30 April)
- For the purposes of corporate tax, earnings before taxes shall be reduced by the amount of the corporate tax reserve transferred to the reserve in the tax year and shown as a reserve on the last day of the tax year, which amount shall not exceed the pre-tax profit and shall be up to HUF 10 billion per tax year.
6. Government Decree 172/2020 (30 April)
- A social cooperative operating anywhere in the country can sell its products in a local farmers’ market in the county where the market is located, or in the 40 km radius of the market, or in the local farmers’ market in Budapest.
7. Government Decree 173/2020 (30 April)
- Specific rules for state aid relations (support provided from the central budget) established in order to address the state of danger and mitigate its consequences.
8. Government Decree 174/2020 (30 April)
- Hungarian citizens, being executives or employees of a domestic company or of a company incorporated in one of the countries – or a subsidiary of these – listed below, may enter the territory of Hungary via passenger transport arriving from the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Korea after having visited that country for business reasons without having to subject himself to health check and (home) quarantine.
- A citizen of the above countries, in case of business travel between relevant affiliated undertakings, may enter the territory of Hungary via passenger transport without having to subject himself to health check and (home) quarantine.
- In the above cases, the business nature of the trip has to be substantiated.
9. Government Decree 175/2020 (30 April)
- With regard to high school final examinations, during the written examination, the institution organizing the examination may deviate from the pre-arranged schedule of the teachers.
10. Government Decree 176/2020 (4 May)
- Defines derogations relating to contact rights, rules on the enforcement of temporary preventive restraining orders, preventive restraining orders and restraining orders during the period of state of danger.
11. Government Decree 177/2020 (4 May)
- New personal respiratory protective equipment lacking an EU-certificate as well as personal respiratory protective equipment disinfected after use may only be used in accordance with this Regulation.
- The designated laboratory of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, upon request, shall be entitled to examine new personal respiratory equipment and personal respiratory protective equipment disinfected after use.
12. Government Decree 178/2020 (4 May)
- Introduces the calculation of reduced Annual Percentage Rate relating to the payment moratorium, and rules on how financial institutions shall communicate the Annual Percentage Rates and the expected amount of installments to consumers.
13. Government Decree 179/2020 (4 May)
- Defines derogations from rules data protection in case of data processing with the purpose of preventing and detecting the spread of COVID-19. In this realm, data subjects may not practice their data subject rights until after the end of the state of danger. Any such requests and (court) proceedings shall be stalled until after the end of the state of danger.
- Freedom of information: requests for disclosure of data of public interest shall be responded to within 45 days in case responding to the request within the initial deadline of 15 days would prejudice the performance of public duty. This – longer – deadline may also be extended by 15 days if necessary.
14. Government Decree 180/2020 (4 May)
- In the case of agricultural and food products, it is considered unfair market practice for the merchant to unilaterally reduce the purchase price vis-à-vis the supplier despite the supplier’s objections.
- It is also considered unfair market practice if, in order to amend the contract to reduce the purchase price, the merchant threatens the supplier with terminating the contractual relationship, canceling the order, reducing the order backlog, and canceling promotional activities, especially promotions and other means that cause material or moral loss to the supplier.
- In a procedure in front of the authority initiated by the supplier based on the above, if certain criteria (relating to the annual revenue of the merchant and the supplier) apply, the merchant shall prove that the reduction in the purchase price did not take place in the manner described above.
15. Government Decree 181/2020. (4 May)
- The epidemiological authority orders monitoring compliance with the rules relating to official home quarantine via an electronic software suitable for tracking the movements of, and for transferring the facial image of, and the health data provided by, the adult concerned having the capacity to act, provided that the adult concerned states that the requirements for installing the software are met and they have the appropriate device, and they volunteer to install and use the software.
- The police may compare the movement data provided by the software with the data of the designated location or official home quarantine.
- The police shall notify the epidemiological authority in case of any violation by the person concerned of the obligation to install and use the software.
- For the identification of the person subject to official home quarantine, the epidemiological authority and the police shall be entitled to process the facial image of the person concerned.
16. Government Decree 182/2020. (4 May)
- The Decree is ensuring electronic administration between Garantiqa Zrt. and the business organization taking part in the crisis guarantee program of Garantiqa Zrt.
17. Government Decree 185/2020. (6 May)
- The National Police Chief may lay down rules in its individual decision on crossing the Hungarian border, residence, transit, travel itinerary, and humanitarian transit traffic in case of the following persons: citizens of a neighboring state, persons in transit for humanitarian purposes, and persons arriving from neighbouring countries who travel to meet the labour needs of the agricultural sector, and are citizens of the neighbouring state or are Hungarian citizens not resident in Hungary.
18. Government Decree 186/2020. (6 May)
- Leases for apartments or premises owned by the state or the local municipality and expiring during the state of danger may be extended unilaterally until the end of the state of danger by written declaration of the tenant without conducting a new tender procedure.
- In case of leases for apartments or premises owned by the state or the local municipality, during the state of danger, the parties may deviate from the provisions of the National Property Act by mutual agreement until the thirtieth day after the end of the emergency.
19. Government Decree 187/2020. (7 May)
- In order to mitigate the consequences of the state of danger, the Hungarian State may provide support to credit institutions having seat in the territory of Hungary that meets the conditions of this Decree by purchasing capital items until 31 December 2020.
- At the request of the credit institution, the Hungarian State decides on the granting of the support in the light of the opinion of the President of the Central Bank of Hungary.
20. Government Decree 188/2020. (7 May)
- Special provisions relating to the enforcement of criminal sentences during the state of danger, especially relating to the biometric sampling of detainees.
21. Government Decree 191/2020. (8 May)
- With certain exceptions, activities subject to a licensing requirement by a government regulatory authority, during the state of danger, may be conducted – even in the lack of obtaining the license – within 8 days after submitting a “controlled notification.” with the relevant regulatory authority.
- The notification shall be made electronically.
22. Government Decree 194/2020. (11 May)
- An application for an equity-based approval of the Deputy National Police Chief relating to entry into the territory of Hungary in passenger traffic may only be submitted electronically.
- The formal and substantive requirements of the application shall be established by a decision of the National Police Chief.
23. Government Decree 195/2020. (11 May)
- During the state of danger, adult education and the related final examination may only be organized in remote education, in the form of remote learning or as digital training, even if this is not otherwise permitted by law, a certificate of support, a grant agreement, an adult education contract or a training program.
24. Government Decree 200/2020. (13 May)
- The list of countries specified in Government Decree 174/2020. (30 April) – outlining more favourable provisions for business travel – is extended to Japan.
Authors: Gábor Papp and Noémi Radnai