In this article, I am trying to sum up all the necessary information and my own thoughts in regards to quarantine and COVID tests. So if I might add my personal opinion on it: the easiest, cheapest and safest option is for everyone, if you wait until the 10 days of quarantine is over. The whole process of terminating the quarantine, having free tests and letting the authorities know about it is really complicated and takes almost as much time as waiting for 2 weeks, you would win approximately 2-4 days with the free tests since you also have to have at least 48 hours between the two tests.
Let us talk about these free tests first, after all, many of you are most interested in those. BME is supposed to provide you with two COVID tests free of charge in case you arrived after the 1st of September. You have to register for it through the link that was sent by Semmelweis University since the tests themselves will be done by them. The latest info is that you will also have to fill out a Neptun questionnaire (Unipoll) that hopefully will be ready by Thursday, otherwise, your tests were not free. All we know about this questionnaire, for now, is that it is replacing the process with the Public Health Department detailed below and you need to already have the appointments by the time you are filling it. Also, you do not have to pay for the tests at all, therefore, it is not a question of reimbursement, you go there for your appointments, they do tests, and the university is handling the payments.
Many of you asked whether you can have the tests done without Semmelweis University. Of course, you can, but note, that then they will not be free, a test normally costs around 30 000 – 40 000 HUF and you need two. If you wish to do it yourself, you also have to pay attention to several things. First of all, you have to take the tests at a lab that is approved by the authorities, otherwise, it would be futile to pay for them, they will not be accepted. The first link below is the list of approved labs. Please note, that you have to communicate throughout the process of taking the tests with PHD, the process of that is below. And one more thing, the mentor team will not be able to help you with that process, unfortunately, there is not enough of us for such a huge task, next to our other duties, therefore, you will have to find a lab for yourself, and do the communication by yourself as well.
There have also been questions about why you have to do two tests in Hungary if you already arrived with two negative tests. Unfortunately, because of the rise in the number of infected people, the authorities wish to make sure you did not get infected while you were travelling either, therefore the tests in Hungary are necessary.
So what is this PHD? For the whole quarantine process, the responsible authority is the local Public Health Department. You have to contact them when you are planning to take the COVID test and when the two tests are ready and you want to request the termination of your quarantine, provided, of course, your tests came out negative.
Every time you email them (PHD), you have to send them your personal information (full name, birth date, place of birth, country of origin, mother’s maiden name, passport number, date of arrival, university) and the address of your quarantine. Also attach the paper you got from the police at the airport, a copy of your passport and visa, and a proof that you’re a student in Hungary (student status certificate, Neptun certificate, letter of acceptance etc.).
If you gave a different quarantine address in the airport than your current quarantine or your landlord made you change it, you also have to email PHD.
You are only allowed to leave your home to take your tests, no shopping, meeting friends, etc. You have to make sure that you take the confirmation of your appointment with you to prove where you are going, otherwise, if the police does an identity check on you, and you are not going to the tests, or simply did not take the paper with you, your scholarship will be rescinded immediately, and you will probably be expelled from the country as well.
You may also write your appointment dates on your door when you leave the house, so if the police wishes to check on you in your quarantine, and they do not find you there, they will know that you are on your tests, and will not search for you, or start any official processes, apart from checking if you really were on your tests.
After receiving your two negative test results (date and time should be included), you have to pay a fee of 3,000 HUF/ person for the procedure to the authorities.
NAME: Magyar Államkincstár Eljárási illetékbevételi számla
Account number: 10032000-01012107 (from abroad: HU56 1003 2000 0101 2107 0000 0000)
When you have transferred the fee, you have to write an email to the Public Health Department with the payment receipt about the money transfer and the two negative test results. Only after they allow you to terminate the quarantine, you can leave it.
There are 23 districts in Budapest, you can find out which one is yours if you look at the two middle digits of your ZIP code. Eg. 1095 Budapest, Mester utca 45 the inner digits are 09 – so this is the 9th district. I made a list of the Public Health Departments email addresses for each district in Budapest below for you:
Districts 01,02,03: email@example.com
Districts 04,05,13: firstname.lastname@example.org
Districts 06,07,08,09: email@example.com
Districts 10,17,18: firstname.lastname@example.org
Districts 11,12,22: email@example.com
Districts 14, 15, 16: firstname.lastname@example.org
Districts 19, 20, 21, 23: email@example.com
If we get any further information, we will keep you updated!
Written by Niki and Márk