The coronavirus-related rules will change significantly from August 1: people who are returning to Hungary from countries that the surgeon-general has categorized as yellow or red in terms of risk will have to arrange for their own PCR testing if they wish to be excluded for the mandatory two-week self-quarantine. Semmelweis University has been designated one of the institutions in the capital where coronavirus testing has to be provided to clients, for a fee. At the same time, as part of its Family-Friendly University program, university staff will continue to be able to get tested for free in such cases.

At the time of writing this article, Hungary’s surgeon-general is listing countries into three categories in terms of coronavirus risk: green, yellow and red. There are no restrictions on people traveling to or from green countries, while yellow and red countries are rated as moderate and high risk, respectively. Those arriving from these countries are required to quarantine themselves for two weeks even if they are healthy and symptom-free, which can only be avoided if they can show two negative PCR tests made within 5 days of arriving to Hungary. This is the most reliable form of testing for the virus, during which a swab is taken from the individual’s nose and throat.

Anyone can get tested at the screening points of Semmelweis University, following the scheduling of an appointment and in exchange for a fee. The university can only accept people who have scheduled an appointment during working hours and arrive on time. The price of a routine PCR test, including the taking of a sample, is HUF 31,990. The results will be received within 24 hours, either electronically through the individual’s government portal account, or by the person’s GP. For an extra fee of HUF 17,990, the results can be delivered in an expedited manner. The serology test, which shows if a person has previously been infected, costs HUF 9,990, and the cost of taking a blood sample is HUF 1,990. The cost for PCR testing, plus a serology test together is HUF 37,990, with a 24-hour turnaround time for the result.

The following screening points are available at the university:

Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Dermato-Oncology 
Appointment scheduling: 061/459-1500/55450
Office hours: workdays, 11 a.m. – 12 noon

Városmajor Heart and Vascular Center
Appointment scheduling: 061/458-6812,6817;
Office hours: workdays, 3–5 p.m.

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery
Appointment scheduling: 0620/825-9600
Office hours: workdays, 8-11 a.m.

Department of Pulmonology
Appointment scheduling: 0620/666-3220
Office hours: workdays 10–11 a.m.

An appointment for testing can only be arranged during office hours!

As part of its Family-Friendly University program, Semmelweis University will continue to provide testing free to its workers, which staff can request through the Clinical Center.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the university has been continuously active in the coronavirus testing of symptomatic patients and their contacts, and these tests will continue in the future, as part of the university’s role as sentinel. Under the H-UNCOVER national study led by the university, more than 10,000 people were tested in May, with another screening round likely to take place in the autumn.

Ádám Szabó
Translation: Tamás Deme
Photo (illustration): Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University