Special Legal Order and the State of Danger in Hungary: Government decrees issued between 25 May and 8 June, 2020

  • You may find a short summary of all Government Decrees issued by the Government of Hungary under the state of danger between 25 May – 8 June 2020.
  • As a background, 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. The state of danger has been confirmed and extended for an indefinite time by Act XII of 2020 on the containment of coronavirus.
  • In a series of articles we have been following such legislation and have provided a summary of all such Government Decrees in 7 consecutive articles.
  • Please note that the below summary offers an overview rather than a full-content summary of the Government Decrees.

1. Government Decree 227/2020 (25 May)

  • The Decree restricts the acquisition and ownership transfer of certain strategic companies headquartered in Hungary.
  • Such transactions need to be notified to the Minister of Innovation and Technology, who either acknowledges or forbids the transaction.
  • Relevant transactions include the (i) transfer of shareholdings (entirely or partly), (ii) capital increase, (iii) transformation, merger or demerger, (iv) issuance of certain type of bonds or (v) establishment of usufruct right over shares, if the acquisition of property or rights exceeds the limit specified in the Decree.
  • Furthermore, a contract concluded in contradiction of the Government Decree or a closing carried out without the decision of the Minister shall deemed to be invalid from a Hungarian law perspective.
  • The Government Decree is effective as of 26 May 2020 and shall remain in effect until 31 December 2020.
  • Read our full related article ‘New approval requirements for foreign investments in strategic sectors in Hungary’.

2. Government Decree 228/2020 (25 May)

  • Certain mineral prospecting activities are bound to preliminary research (reconnaissance).

3. Government Decree 229/2020 (25 May)

  • Amends certain procedural rules applicable during the state of danger with respect to civil litigation and non-litigious court proceedings (preliminary hearings, digital and in-person hearings, publicity), administrative litigation procedures and criminal proceedings.

4. Government Decree 230/2020 (25 May)

  • Amends provisions on the final account reports of local governments applicable in the state of danger.

5. Government Decree 231/2020 (25 May)

  • Amends rules relating to corporate decision-making.
  • If the company’s annual report – on the basis of the company’s articles of association – shall be approved by a majority of at least three-quarters of its members, and the decision-making body is not hindered from adopting the annual report, all decisions adopted before adopting the annual report shall be voted unanimously by all members of the company.
  • A decision that violates this rule is deemed invalid and the company registration court may not register changes of data based on it.

6. Government Decree 232/2020 (25 May)

  • According to the Decree, the employer may order 24-month allocated cumulative working time for mobile workers as well.

7. Government Decree 233/2020 (26 May)

  • Amends rules relating to the submitting of asylum claims during the state of danger.

8. Government Decree 234/2020 (26 May)

  • Trainings with personal appearance and exams may now be organized in accordance with epidemiological rules in all adult education programs.
  • Those who have reached the age of 65 may not attend in-person trainings and exams.

9. Government Decree 235/2020 (26 May) – no longer in force

  • Czech and Slovak citizens arriving from the Czech Republic and Slovakia are free to enter the territory of Hungary if their stay does not exceed 48 hours. Hungarian citizens returning home from the Czech Republic (even via Austria) or Slovakia are free to enter the territory of Hungary if their stay did not exceed 48 hours. EEA citizens entitled to permanent residence and proving this right with a permanent residence card shall receive the same treatment as Hungarian citizens.
  • The above requirements do not apply to border crossings in freight traffic.
  • Pursuant to the Decree, Government Decree 218/2020 (21 May) is repealed.

10. Government Decree 240/2020 (27 May)

  • Amends rules relating to the next phase of reopening in Budapest.
  • The interiors of restaurants can be opened. Staff shall wear protective equipment (mask, scarf) in areas that may be visited by guests. A protective distance of 1.5 metres shall be observed.
  • Open-door playgrounds may be visited.
  • Hotels may be opened and may receive guests.

11. Government Decree 241/2020 (27 May)

  • Outdoor events may be held and it is allowed to stay at the outdoor event venue, provided that the organizer ensures and oversees compliance with the epidemiological protective measures.
  • The Decree applies in particular to open-air theatres, cinemas, circuses, exhibitions, literary events and outdoor events organized by public cultural institutions. National parks may be visited while observing the protective distance.
  • Attending outdoor music and dance events (pop concerts, festivals) remains prohibited.

12. Government Decree 242/2020 (27 May)

  • Lays down special rules applicable for travel contracts until 31 August 2020.
  • In case a travel contract is terminated, if the termination takes place in view of the coronavirus pandemic or if the performance of the contract is deemed impossible due to the pandemic, the following rules shall apply.
  • Instead of refunding the customer, the organizer may offer the customer a voucher. The customer shall accept the voucher explicitly. Otherwise, the organizer shall issue a full refund to the customer.
  • The customer must not suffer any financial or other disadvantages as a result of the issuance of the voucher and its use.
  • The voucher may be transferred to close relatives.

13. Government Decree 243/2020 (28 May)

  • Slovenian and Hungarian citizens arriving from the territory of the Republic of Slovenia may enter the territory of Hungary without restrictions.
  • If, within 14 days after entering the territory of Hungary a Hungarian citizen or a Slovenian citizen staying in the territory of Hungary experiences the symptoms of COVID-19 infection, s/he shall not leave his/her domicile, place of residence, or accommodation, and shall notify the epidemiological authority by telephone without delay.
  • EEA citizens entitled to permanent residence and proving this right with a permanent residence card shall receive the same treatment as Hungarian citizens.
  • Border-crossing freight traffic shall not fall within the scope of this Decree.

14. Government Decree 248/2020 (28 May) – no longer in force

  • Drive-in concerts may be held between 29 May and 31 May, provided that the conditions specified in the relevant legislation are granted by the organizer. (A drive-in concert is an event that provides a live service of music through a live performance, during which members of the audience stay in the vehicle (car) used to reach the venue of the event.)

15. Government Decree 249/2020 (28 May)

  • Lays down derogations from the rules relating to liquidation procedures and compulsory winding-up procedures.
  • During the state of danger, the creditor may only submit an application for the commencement of liquidation proceedings against the debtor on the basis of certain preconditions (applying longer deadlines, and only if the amount of the claim exceeds HUF 400,000).
  • Court of registration may not declare a company dissolved as a result of a supervisory proceeding.
  • Compulsory winding-up procedures shall be suspended until 31 October 2020 by force of the law.

16. Government Decree 251/2020 (29 May)

  • Bulgarian citizens may enter the territory of Hungary provided that they substantiate in a credible way (especially by presenting a letter of invitation, an official passport or an employment contract), at the time of crossing the border, that the purpose of their stay in the territory of Hungary is performing an official duty, participating in the activity of an international organisation, traveling for business, performing a humanitarian activity, or visiting a relative.
  • Hungarian citizens arriving from the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria may enter the territory of Hungary, provided that they travelled for the above purposes.
  • EEA citizens entitled to permanent residence and proving this right with a permanent residence card shall receive the same treatment as Hungarian citizens.
  • Border-crossing freight traffic shall not fall within the scope of this Decree.

17. Government Decree 258/2020 (3 June)

  • Amends applicable rules relating to railway transport.
  • Until 31 October 2020, the rules of the Hungarian Railway Transport Act in force on 15 June 2020 shall be applicable.

18. Government Decree 259/2020 (4 June)

  • Due to the positive experiences of drive-in concerts held between 29 May and 31 May and their favourable reception by the public, the Decree permits the organization of such concerts provided that the epidemiological rules specified in the relevant legislation are granted by the organizer.

19. Government Decree 262/2020 (5 June) – no longer in force

  • Austrian, Czech and Slovak citizens are free to enter the territory of Hungary without restrictions. Hungarian citizens may also return home from the above countries without restrictions.
  • EEA citizens entitled to permanent residence and proving this right with a permanent residence card shall receive the same treatment as Hungarian citizens.
  • Border-crossing freight traffic shall not fall within the scope of this Decree.
  • The Decree repeals Government Decree 216/2020 (21 May) on crossing the border from the Republic of Austria and Government Decree 235/2020 (26 May) on crossing the border from the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.

20. Government Decree 263/2020 (6 June)

  • Citizens of the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and Slovakia may enter the territory of Hungary without restrictions.
  • Hungarian citizens may enter the territory of Hungary arriving from the territory of the above countries without restrictions.
  • EEA citizens entitled to permanent residence and proving this right with a permanent residence card shall receive the same treatment as Hungarian citizens.
  • Border-crossing freight traffic shall not fall within the scope of this Decree.
  • Government Decree 262/2020 (5 June) on crossing the border from the Republic of Austria, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic is repealed.

You can read the previous parts of the series at the following links:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6


Authors:


Noémi Radnai

Knowledge Development Lawyer (Junior Associate)
noemi.radnai@dlapiper.com
LinkedIn profile

Gábor Papp
Senior Associate,
Head of Professional Development
gabor.papp@dlapiper.com
LinkedIn profile