The border protection agencies are fully prepared for the entry into force of the reinforced legal border closure on 28 March 2017, and the personal and material conditions necessary for its implementation are available.

The police, the defence forces and the Immigration and Asylum Office have made the necessary preparations for the implementation of the required measures, the enlargement of the Röszke and Tompa transit zones which serve to accommodate migrants has been completed or is in the process of being completed, and the relevant statutory conditions are in place. The transit zones are currently capable of accommodating 100 persons, which capacity can be increased in multiple stages. In total, 324 shipping container homes have been installed at the two locations. The construction works are coordinated by the prison service. The police are responsible for the operation and guarding of the transit zones, while the relevant official responsibilities will be performed by the Immigration and Asylum Office.

The reinforced legal border closure will take effect on Tuesday, 28 March. The purpose of the restrictions is to prevent migrants with an unclear status from moving freely around the territory of the country and the European Union, and to thereby reduce the security risk of migration. The asylum procedures will be conducted at the border. Only unaccompanied children under the age of 14 years will be allowed to enter the territory of the country who will be placed in child protection institutions. Everyone else will be required to await the conclusion of the asylum proceedings in the transit zones. Individuals seeking recognition will be required to leave the transit zone after the communication of the final decision which can no longer be appealed against. The latest amendments will also apply to cases pending at the time of their entry into force, with the proviso that migrants seeking recognition may leave the transit zones before the adoption of a final and absolute decision.

The transit zones will operate around the clock, visitors may only enter the premises of the transit zones with the permission of the asylum authority, and anyone entering the transit zones will be required to observe the house rules and to comply with the instructions of the staff members of the asylum authority. Migrants will be inspected prior to entry into the transit zone, and will receive information about their rights and obligations in their mother tongue or in another language they understand. Health and social care, too, will be available around the clock in the transit zones where those requiring special treatment will receive maximum attention. In the transit zones migrants will have access to beds, bedding, personal hygiene packages, lockable storage facilities for the storage of their personal belongings, continuous hot water supply, toilet facilities, mass media and telecommunication equipment, and (ecumenical) premises for the practice of religion. Three meals a day – five meals a day in the case of children under the age of 14 years – will be provided in the transit zones. Expectant women and mothers with young children as well as children under the age of 14 years will have access to dairy products and fruit daily.

According to the new regulations that will now enter into force, any illegal immigrants apprehended in the interior of the country will also be accompanied back to the border. They, too, may submit their applications in the transit zone. The vehicles necessary for the transportation of migrants are available.

(Ministry of Interior)