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What is an Immunity Certificate?

With many public places across Budapest expected to open from this weekend after the key threshold has been passed of four million people vaccinated against Covid, the importance of carrying an immunity certificate has come into focus. Cinemas, swimming pools, gyms, zoos and other amenities should all soon open their doors – but only to those presenting proof of immunity. So what is an immunity certificate?

Following the opening of café and restaurant terraces across Budapest last weekend, many communal amenities are soon expected to follow suit. But access to a cinema or swimming pool will only be granted to those carrying a Védettségi Igazolvány, an Immunity Certificate

Actually a plastic card that fits in your wallet, it carries your basic personal details in Hungarian and English – name, ID/passport number and date of vaccination – as well as a QR code linking to the national health system. It is posted to your address free of charge after your vaccination.

In most cases, this is after the first vaccination. The card carries no validity date nor personal photograph, nor indication of the type of vaccine you were given – although this should feature on the documentation handed to you immediately after vaccination.

ID should also be shown to gain access to a public facility. If accompanied by an adult, under-18s are exempt from the requirement to provide proof of immunity.

A card may also be issued to those who have previously been confirmed positive for the Covid virus, in which case validity is counted as ten days after the day of recovery, ie following a negative test. The card posted to you will then be valid for six months.

It is not yet known how the Hungarian card will integrate with any issued by the EU – discussions are still ongoing concerning how a Europe-wide one will operate in practice, and which vaccines it will recognise.

What if I have no TAJ Card?

Until now, most people in Hungary applying for and receiving vaccinations have done so through the national health system, for which they hold their own personal TAJ Card. From 1 May, non-TAJ Card holders – in many cases expats and repatriated Hungarians – may apply to be vaccinated.

At present, the online system for doing so is Hungarian-only and requires you enter your TAJ Card number, but there are helplines (+36 80 277 455, +36 80 277 456, from abroad +36 1 550 1825) and an email address (koronavirus@1818.hu) to provide assistance.

Cimkék

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