Countries in eastern Europe are facing rising waves of coronavirus infections, leading to new restrictive measures such as the mandatory use of face masks in Croatia and travel bans or quarantines to be imposed by Hungary.
ungarian authorities said on Sunday that they would put countries in three categories – red, yellow and green – based on their rate of new coronavirus infections.
Restrictions including entry bans and mandatory quarantines will be imposed, depending from which country people were coming from.
“We see worrisome signs about an increase in the number of cases in the neighbouring countries, Europe and the whole world,” Gergely Gulyas, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff, said.
Foreigners from countries in the red category – those with a high rate of infections, including Albania, Ukraine, Belarus and practically all of Asia, Africa and South and Central America – are banned from entering.
Hungarian citizens arriving from those locations will have to stay quarantined for two weeks or until they test negative twice, 48 hours apart.
Both Hungarians and foreigners arriving from countries in the yellow category – which includes, among others, Bulgaria, Portugal, Romania and Sweden, as well as the UK, Russia, Serbia, Japan, China and the United States — will have to quarantine for two weeks.
They will be allowed out if they test negative for the virus: once for Hungarians, or two negative tests 48 hours apart in the case of foreigners.
Mr Gulyas said the new rules will take effect on Wednesday and will be reviewed at least once a week.
Romania announced a new high of infections on Saturday, with 698, while 456 new cases were reported on Sunday.
Serbia reported 354 new infections on Saturday, although there have been increasing doubts about the accuracy of the figures.
Officially, the country has more than 18,000 confirmed infections and 382 deaths since March, with health authorities warning Serbian hospitals are almost full due to the latest surge in cases.
Croatia, whose Adriatic Sea coast is a major tourist destination, will make wearing masks mandatory in stores from Monday, while restaurant staff but not patrons will also have to wear face coverings.
Infections are also on the rise in India, which has the most cases after the US and Brazil, with a record surge of 28,637 cases reported in the past 24 hours.
Authorities have announced a week-long lockdown beginning on Tuesday in the key southern technology hub of Bangalore.
South Korea has also reported an increase in infections around Seoul, its capital, and other major cities, with 44 new cases over the past 24 hours.
In the US, fatalities in states in the south and west, have driven up the seven-day rolling average for daily reported deaths from 578 two weeks ago to 664 on July 10 – still well below the heights hit in April – according to an Associated Press analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.