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Myanmar Extends COVID-19 Restrictions Again

Authorities in Myanmar have extended COVID-19 restrictions until July 31, 2021. The restrictions affect international travel, movement, and social gatherings across Myanmar.

Foreigners can currently only enter Myanmar for essential, approved purposes. The issuance of Myanmar visas for Indian citizens, and all other nationalities, have been suspended since March 2020. As a result, anyone with an essential reason to travel to Myanmar must request special permission, as explained below.

As a consequence of the entry ban, commercial flights to Myanmar will not be operating until July 31, 2021. Several relief flights are running, which can be booked directly through an airline or travel agent.

Apart from relief flights, only medical evacuation, cargo and other essential flights approved by the Department of Civil Aviation may land in Myanmar during the restrictions. Land borders are also closed between Myanmar and neighboring countries.

There had been plans to lift restrictions on June 15, 2021. However, rising cases of COVID-19 in Asia have caused this date to be pushed back by several weeks. Myanmar’s authorities will continue to review the situation between now and the end of July. Although it is hoped that restrictions can be eased by then, the date is not fixed and could be moved again if necessary.

At the time of writing, there have been just under 230,000 cases of COVID-19 in Myanmar[1] , 162,000 of which have recovered. Maintaining restrictions is considered essential to curb the spread of the virus and keep the population safe.

Although tourism in Myanmar is not currently permitted, some foreign nationals can go to Myanmar for essential purposes and with prior approval. Urgent diplomatic and United Nations visits are exempt from the entry ban, travelers must seek permission from the Myanmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Foreigners with other compelling reasons to go to Myanmar before July 31 should contact the nearest embassy or consulate[2]  to find out whether they can travel and the steps they need to take. The entry restriction does not apply to nationals of Myanmar.

People who are granted an exemption to the travel ban must follow the special COVID-19 protocol. All passengers (except Myanmar nationals) must have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test. The test has to be taken no more than 72 hours before departure.

On arrival in Myanmar, travelers must enter a government-arranged quarantine for 10 days. Passengers are allocated a quarantine facility on arrival, usually in the same hotel as others on the same flight. Travelers should specify their quarantine requirements with the Myanmar Embassy or Consulate before going. They will be provided with food that they must pay for.

During the quarantine period, travelers are subject to further COVID-19 testing. They are required to pay for PCR tests on days 3 and 7 and anyone who tests positive is taken to a medical facility. Quarantine requirements may change at short notice; travelers must get all the relevant information from the embassy or consulate before the trip.

In addition to the ban on international flights, other restrictions also remain in place. There is a nationwide curfew between 12 am and 4 am, and social gatherings of more than 5 people are not allowed. People in areas with the highest infection rates, such as parts of Yangon, may be asked to stay at home except for essential purposes.

Nevertheless, Myanmar authorities have eased some restrictions. More than 5 people may now gather at government offices, companies, factories, and schools. Seminars and training at government institutions are now allowed.

Furthermore, restaurants and other food and drink establishments can open with limited capacity and social distancing measures. People are expected to wear a facemask when in public, failure to comply could result in a fine. Rules may vary in different areas of Myanmar. Visitors must check the local regulations and restrictions in place in their destination before departure.

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is underway in Myanmar. As of July 19, 3.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine[3] s have been administered, with around 2.8% of the population fully vaccinated.

Myanmar is expecting to receive 6 million doses of a Covid vaccine from China[4]  in July and August. 4 million have been purchased by the military government and 2 million are being donated by Beijing. Vaccination is considered crucial[5]  to protect the public from the effects of coronavirus. It is hoped that by speeding up the vaccine rollout in Myanmar, fewer preventative measures will soon be required.

Following the military coup that took place in Myanmar [6] in February 2021, policies, including COVID-19 rules, may change at short notice. Anyone hoping to go to Myanmar in the coming week and months is advised to follow local media for the latest information. International travel and the issuance of visas for Myanmar are expected to resume once the current restrictions are eased.    

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